Reverend Franklin Graham says he prays 'God will spare America' after the Supreme Court upheld same-sex marriage with a 5-4 decision, saying that the 14th Amendment requires marriage licenses to be issued between two people of the same sex.
The Friday ruling declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of two decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.
Reverend Franklin Graham issued a statement Friday morning after the SCOTUS ruling.
"With all due respect to the court, it did not define marriage," Rev. Graham said in a statement posted online. "And therefore is not entitled to re-define it."
"Long before our government came into existence, marriage was created by the One who created man and woman—Almighty God—and His decisions are not subject to review or revision by any manmade court," Graham continued. "God is clear about the definition of marriage in His Holy Word."
He then quotes the book of Genesis, saying “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Graham says he prayed "God will spare America from His judgment, though, by our actions as a nation, we give Him less and less reason to do so."
Graham was among a group of prominent religious conservatives earlier this week, who said they wouldn't comply with a Supreme Court ruling that would force them to violate what they call a "biblical understanding of marriage" as the union of a man and a woman.
Their "Open Letter to the Supreme Court" was published as a full-page ad in Wednesday's Washington Post.
The more than 60 signatories include the Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson, Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez and the Rev. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Echoing the civil rights leader's letter from the Birmingham jail, they declare that "any judicial opinion which purports to redefine marriage will constitute an unjust law."
Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
The states affected by the ruling are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, most of Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.
RELATED ARTICLE: Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide
Copyright 2015 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.