Next week, the Supreme Court is expected to release its decisions on the two marriage law cases before it: Hollingsworth v. Perry, about California’s Proposition 8, and United States v. Windsor, about the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA. While no one can predict exactly when the decisions will be announced, Monday June 24 and Thursday June 27 are good bets.
Anticipating these decisions, which should feature prominently in national news and spark multiple conversations about marriage, here is a list of helpful resources to prepare yourself to talk with friends, family, and coworkers about marriage. Shortly after the decisions are released, the USCCB will offer a statement and provide analysis of the decisions. Stay tuned for that!
5 Helpful resources to prepare for the Supreme Court decisions
“A broad negative ruling could redefine marriage in the law throughout the entire country, becoming the “Roe v. Wade” of marriage.”
A list of short, simple paragraphs about various topics related to marriage: challenges facing marriage, sexual difference, the common good, and so forth. Meant for clergy, leaders, and advocates of marriage.
“The big picture: Marriage is a great gift to men, women, children, and society. The Church serves and strengthens marriage by providing pastoral care to engaged couples and marriages at all stages, and in any difficulty. The Church promotes and defends marriage by preaching and teaching about marriage’s authentic meaning.”
An “amicus brief” is submitted to the Court as a “friend of the court” (amicus=friend) on behalf of one of the parties involved in the case. In this amicus brief, the USCCB urges the Court uphold DOMA.
“There is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex.” (p. 2)
In this amicus brief, the USCCB urges the Supreme Court to uphold California’s Proposition 8.
“Given both the unique capacity for reproduction and unique value of homes with a mother and father, it is reasonable for a State to treat the union of one man and one woman as having a public value that is absent from other intimate interpersonal relationships.” (p. 2)
5. All of the resources on the Marriage: Unique for a Reason website.
If you haven’t perused the resources available here on this website, now is the time! These include two videos: Made for Each Other (about sexual difference) and Made for Life (about the gift of children and the need for fathers and mothers); Frequently Asked Questions about marriage, focusing on four themes: sexual difference, children, the common good, and religious liberty; a library of Church teaching on marriage; and, most importantly, a prayer for the defense of marriage.
If you’re not sure what the Church teaches about marriage; if you’re not sure how to defend marriage in the public square; if you’re not confident in the beauty and rationality of the Church’s teaching on marriage; now is the time to think deeply about what marriage is! The resources listed above are a great place to start.