The editorial board of PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. is taking a hardcore stance against those who disagree with the Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage.

“As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage,” they declared. 

After receiving strong pushback, the newspaper’s editorial board, which is overseen by Editorial Page Editor John Micek, quickly revised its policy. Freedom of speech will be allowed — but only for a “limited” period of time.

Micek explained on Twitter: “Clarification: We will not foreclose discussion of the high court’s decision, but arguments that gay marriage is wrong/unnatural are out.”

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Two of the leading Republican contenders responded nearly in lockstep on Friday to the Supreme Court ruling that has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide: by waving a white flag in the fight over marriage — and promising to take up arms in a new culture war battle over religious freedom.

“While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law,” Marco Rubio said in a statement, then called for officials to “protect the First Amendment rights of religious institutions and millions of Americans whose faiths hold a traditional view of marriage.”…

Jeb Bush cited his Catholic faith to explain his personal belief in “traditional marriage,” but added, “I also believe we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments.” He then pivoted to the need to “protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”

No one said they agreed with the court, but a number of the candidates signaled the desire to cut their political losses on the losing issue of marriage — and instead reframe their party’s social agenda in terms of protecting the viewpoints of the dissenting.

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Now that the Supreme Court has spoken – ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution guarantees the right to gay marriage – Republican presidential candidates may find the issue just as challenging, or even more so, analysts say.  Vocal social conservatives in the race have doubled down in their push for a constitutional amendment undoing the Supreme Court’s ruling. And they can pressure other candidates on that question…

Pressure on the Republican National Committee to drop opposition to gay marriage from the party’s platform is also likely to escalate, in light of today’s ruling. Though nearly two-thirds of Republicans oppose gay marriage, according to the Pew Research Center, support is growing – especially among younger Republicans. Overall, 57 percent of Americans support gay marriage in the latest Pew poll.

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It’s too simple to see this decision as bringing down the curtain on the national debate over marriage equality, especially since almost two-thirds of Americans now feel that same-sex couples should have a constitutional right to marry. The debate is indeed now largely over in blue states. But today’s decision will supply a hefty dose of oxygen to efforts already underway in red state legislatures to continue to deny marriage rights to gay couples

North Carolina laid down an early marker with the recent enactment—over Governor Pat McCrory’s veto—of a law that allows public employees to refuse to participate in the steps needed to make a same-sex marriage valid. In sweeping language, the law allows the clerks who issue the licenses and the magistrates who perform the marriages to opt out performing their duties “based upon any sincerely held religious exemption.” The law isn’t limited to same-sex weddings—a racist magistrate could also refuse to perform an interracial or interfaith wedding—but it’s abundantly clear that same-sex unions were the motivation for this ill-considered measure.

The North Carolina law makes clear that someone has to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, but there’s no provision requiring the refusenik to state any religious objection beforehand. This lack of notice is sure to lead to some couples suffering public embarrassment upon having a clerk turn and walk away rather than processing their license application. And even though the law tries to ensure that the couple can proceed through the required steps, it’s possible that all the magistrates in a particular county could refuse to perform a wedding, thereby touching off a scramble to find a magistrate from another county willing to do so.

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For decades, a growing narrative from LGBT activists has convinced a great portion of the U.S. public that cultural peace would reign if social conservatives could just get with the times on marriage…

In Canada, redefining marriage has led straight to the persecution of Christians. Just a decade ago, Canada made same-sex marriage legal, leading to fines for a Catholic-owned Knights of Columbus hall for refusing to host a homosexual wedding reception. Likewise, in 2005, Calgary Bishop Fred Henry was called before a Human Rights Tribunal for writing a public letter defending Catholic doctrine on marriage. The complaint was withdrawn, but the message was clear: Dissent is not tolerable under the new regime…

Canada was one of the first nations to legally redefine marriage, but other nations are seeing similar consequences of trying to undermine what God has created. Mayors in France have been told they could not refuse to preside over same-sex ceremonies and a British marriage registrar was denied freedom for her religious beliefs, though just months earlier a demoted government employee’s right to criticize marriage redefinition was protected by courts. Of course, the same thing has already been happening in North Carolina, where civil magistrates whose consciences prevent them from performing gay marriage ceremonies must quit their job or face fines.

In Washington DC, religiously affiliated education institutions are now forced to allow gay advocacy groups to use their facilities, and parents have been disallowed from helping their children who feel unwanted sexual attractions in California and New Jersey.

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Here is what I want to hear [from Republican presidential candidates]:

“Today the Supreme Court ruled against our history and traditions that marriage must change its timeless and time-honored meaning in response to the latest liberal pressures. The Supreme Court is not God, and it is not the final word in our American Constitutional system: The Court, like all human things, sometimes get things wrong. It was wrong about slavery with Dred Scott. It was wrong about racism and segregation with Plessy v. Ferguson. It was wrong about the value of every human life with Roe v. Wade. And today it has gotten marriage wrong.

“For a reason, marriage across time and history has been the union of husband and wife: These are the unions we all depend on to make new life, and to connect our babies with the love of their mom and dad. You can rewrite the law, but you cannot rewrite human nature, or the laws of nature and of nature’s God…

“Today, I pledge that, if I am elected president, the move to redefine as discrimination Christianity and traditional beliefs on marriage — to redefine them as the equivalent of racism — ends. Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose, but this same tolerance and respect must be extended to those who disagree with gay marriage. My first day in office I will issue an executive order preventing government from discriminating on the basis of a person’s commitment to the classic understanding of marriage. And within the first 100 days, we will pass legislation codifying that commitment to prevent government power from being used to silence the debate. The First Amendment Defense Act is a commonsense codification of basic decency and mutual respect. I call on not only the Republicans but Hillary Clinton and every other Democrat to pledge to support this law.

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For many believers, this new era will present a unique challenge. Christians often strive to be seen as the “nicest” or “most loving” people in their communities. Especially among Evangelicals there is a naïve belief that if only we were winsome enough, kind enough, and compassionate enough, the culture would welcome us with open arms. But now our love — expressed in the fullness of a Gospel that identifies homosexual conduct as sin but then provides eternal hope through justification and sanctification — is hate.

Christians who’ve not suffered for their faith often romanticize persecution. They imagine themselves willing to lose their jobs, their liberty, or even their lives for standing up for the Gospel. Yet when the moment comes, at least here in the United States, they often find that they simply can’t abide being called “hateful.” It creates a desperate, panicked response. “No, you don’t understand. I’m not like those people — the religious right.” Thus, at the end of the day, a church that descends from apostles who withstood beatings finds itself unable to withstand tweetings. Social scorn is worse than the lash.

This is the era of sexual liberty — the marriage of hedonism to meaning — and the establishment of a new civic religion. The black-robed priesthood has spoken. Will the church bow before their new masters?

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Republicans can now, however move to more favorable political ground since the Supreme Court has taken this issue off the political table. Most Americans recognize that there must be religious protections in place for people of faith.

The gay rights movement has been mercilessly harassing Christian business owners, driving them from jobs, etc. States and the federal government should protect those business owners.

Make no mistake — this is not the end of a march, but the beginning of a new march. You will be made to care. You will be forced to pick a side. Should you pick the side of traditional marriage, you can expect left to be ruthless. After all, the Supreme Court has said gay marriage is a not just a right, but a fundamental right.

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Though the result was expected, the sweeping character of the Obergefell decision, and its unwillingness to do more than nod and smile at the First Amendment, and tell religious believers to hope for the best, is even worse than many of us will have anticipated. The warnings of the dissenting justices about the radical challenge to our democracy, and the threats now faced by religious believers, are absolutely chilling — and indeed, prophetic.

This is not the end of something. For Christians, because of the text of the decision and the means by which the Supreme Court majority arrived at it, this is only the beginning of some very dark and difficult days. It is time to confront this soberly but realistically, and prepare for the resistance.

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Polyamory is a fact. People are living in group relationships today. The question is not whether they will continue on in those relationships. The question is whether we will grant to them the same basic recognition we grant to other adults: that love makes marriage, and that the right to marry is exactly that, a right.

Why the opposition, from those who have no interest in preserving “traditional marriage” or forbidding polyamorous relationships? I think the answer has to do with political momentum, with a kind of ad hoc-rejection of polygamy as necessary political concession. And in time, I think it will change…

While important legal and practical questions remain unresolved, with the Supreme Court’s ruling and broad public support, marriage equality is here to stay. Soon, it will be time to turn the attention of social liberalism to the next horizon. Given that many of us have argued, to great effect, that deference to tradition is not a legitimate reason to restrict marriage rights to groups that want them, the next step seems clear. We should turn our efforts towards the legal recognition of marriages between more than two partners. It’s time to legalize polygamy.

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Via RCP.

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