But even as this wave of anti-LGBT briefs makes its way to the desks of Supreme Court clerks, a number of religious groups are also submitting or signing on to briefs in support of same-sex marriage. The briefs, once cobbled together by a few progressive faith traditions, now brandish the names of thousands of historic Christian leaders and institutions, each voicing positions that challenge old religious views of homosexuality and highlight just how far America’s theological goal posts have shifted on the topic of same-sex marriage.Yay, TEC!
The largest of these was submitted earlier this year by the President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church.
Originally organized through the work of several Episcopal bishops, it was co-signed by a long list of groups from across the “Judeo-Christian” religious spectrum, such as the United Church of Christ, the Union for Reform Judaism, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Muslims for Progressive Values, as well as pro-LGBT groups operating within Quakerism, Methodism, Presbyterianism, and Lutheranism. Like many left-leaning progressives, the brief argues the Court is primarily tasked with discerning the civil — not religious — definition of marriage, but highlighted the swelling number of Americans whose faith calls them to embrace LGBT rights.And then (my emphases)
There is, of course, precedent for faith groups endorsing marriage equality with amicus briefs. A similar list of progressive religious groups, also led by Episcopal bishops, crafted a brief affirming same-sex marriage ahead of the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case on California’s Proposition 8, which banned LGBT people from legally marrying in the state from 2008 to 2013. Briefs favoring LGBT couples were also filed in 2013 by the American Jewish Committee and the California Council of Churches.
But if Proposition 8 opened up a trickle of faith-based support for LGBT rights, Obergefell v. Hodges unleashed a veritable flood. The list of signatories in the 2013 brief from Episcopal bishops, for example, totaled a mere 6 pages. By contrast, the bishops’ brief in advance of the 2015 case includes several new organizations and the individual names of more than 1,900 faith leaders, additions that stretch the list of spiritual endorsers to a whopping 117 pages.
Welcome aboard everyone. Now let's get this done!