from facebook: religious lie-berty

You’ll hear some people–some of them even candidates for the U.S. presidency–saying that today’s majority decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirming a right to marry is a blow to religious liberty, asserting that religious organizations will be forced against their will to marry same-sex couples.

That is a lie. This decision is solely about civil marriage, and changes nothing for churches (or synagogues, mosques, etc.). The First Amendment continues to guarantee people the right to believe that marriage equality is a sin, and that LGBT people are going to hell. And the majority opinion even explicitly makes that clear. What the First Amendment does not allow is for some religious organizations to require that civil law comport with their religious beliefs.

Churches, synagogue, mosques routinely refuse to marry people for all kinds of reasons, and the law has never punished them for doing so, nor will it now. Some rabbis won’t marry interfaith couples. Many Catholic priests won’t marry the previously divorced. A southern church just within the last couple of years refused to marry an interracial couple. I have no problem with religious organizations and clergy making those decisions, nor does the law or the Constitution, and nothing changes in that regard today.

So please don’t believe the lie that marriage equality is a violation of religious liberty, or that the government will start putting clergy in jail if they won’t marry same-sex couples.

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