A conservative pastors advocacy group on Monday denounced the recent decision of a federal judge striking down the Pennsylvania ban on gay marriage and called on Gov. Tom Corbett to rescind his decision not to appeal the ruling and seek to have the ruling overturned.
Flanked by about 20 heads of churches, Sam Rohrer, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network and the American Pastors Network, denounced U.S. Middle District Judge John Jones as an activist judge who had taken the law into his own hands and had invalidated the highest law in the land – that of God’s law – when he struck down the state’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, legalizing same-gender marriage.
“Let’s be clear, this ruling was made by one man – a federal district judge unelected and unaccountable. Politically appointed, never facing the voters and never answering to the press, many people in this position when unrestrained by moral truth, perceive themselves to be above the law,” said Rohrer, who held the press conference in the Rotunda of the state Capitol. “Indeed, their arrogance makes them appear as if they think they are God.”
Rohrer is a former state representative; he served in the state House from 1992 to 2010. In 2009, he made launched an unsuccessful bid in the governor’s race.
The press conference was attended by only a handful of people, and members of the press. Rohrer urged the General Assembly to pass a resolution within the next 10 days directing the governor to appeal the “egregious ruling.”
Rohrer accused Jones – who in ruling the former ban on gay marriage as a violation of constitutional rights said the law should be “discarded into the ash heap of history”…because “we are better people than these laws” – of aggressive ideological elitism. The pastor added that Jones seemed to have an “undeveloped or distorted understanding” of the basis for civil law, adding that the judge may have been motivated by an intentional defiance of God.
“This divine law established by God Himself created not only the concept of family but the very precise definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” Rohrer said.
Jones, a Republican appointed in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush, gave the summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 23 plaintiffs. The couples argued that Pennsylvania’s statute violated equal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit – Whitewood v. Wolf – initially named named Corbett and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane as defendants.
One day after Jones handed his ruling, Corbett announced he would not appeal the judge’s decision, letting his ruling stand.
In the hour-long press conference, Rohrer and a handful of other pastors took to the podium to condemn Jones and Corbett, and appeal as to what they described as the evils of gay marriage.
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