Here, during colonial times under British rule, many of the European immigrants identified themselves as Christian. Couples who wanted their marriages recognized as legal had to have it done by a minister of the Church of England. A minor inconvenience? The church’s ministers weren’t everywhere; couples had to find postings of when these ministers would be in their area and this could mean traveling great distances. More than an inconvenience, the British government was stating: You believe whatever faith you want but the Church of England defines a marriage’s legitimacy.
Thus, we have in the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause, mostly because of King Henry VIII creating the Church of England. All so he could get an annulment from Catherine of Aragon that he couldn’t get from the Roman Catholic Church. He used his power and authority to redefine marriage to get his annulment.
Then as now, the majority of Americans believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That is their testament to their faith, as with the Founding Fathers, that such things come from our creator. And under the First Amendment we have the Free Exercise thereof.
What states and the courts are stating today is, after 200 plus years of history, believe what you want but we define marriage, a testament to their faith in government and crosses Jefferson’s wall of separation.
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Russell C. Fette