|This photo of Kim Davis links to USA Today.|
The Supreme Court Claimed Co-Existence
Do you remember how members of the Supreme Court claimed that religious rights would not be changed by their “Gay Marriage” decision? If not, you might refer to the 26 June 2015 article in Christianity Today:
“Essentially, the majority believe the First Amendment gives religious groups and people ‘proper protection’ to ‘continue to advocate’ their beliefs on traditional marriage. But the dissenters are more skeptical, and concerned that ‘people of faith can take no comfort’ in the ruling.
‘Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises,’ acknowledges Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in Obergefell v. Hodges, ‘and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.’
He explains that while that ‘sincere, personal opposition’ cannot be ‘enacted law and public policy’ without harming gay couples and violating the Fourteenth Amendment, he favors a continued ‘open and searching debate’ between those who favor and oppose same-sex marriage.
‘It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned,’ writes Kennedy in a paragraph that will likely become the focus of scrutiny by church-state experts.
‘The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths,’ he continues, ‘and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.’ Chief Justice John Roberts is less confident. In his dissent, he argues that today’s decision ‘creates serious questions about religious liberty.’
‘Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority—actually spelled out in the Constitution,’ he writes. ‘Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for dissenting religious practice.’ But he says the Supreme Court is too much of a ‘blunt instrument’ to do likewise. [Thus the evangelical argument for if you can’t beat them, amend them.’]
‘The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage,’ writes Roberts. ‘The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.’ “
In the Wake of Gay Marriage, Religious Rights Sink
Religious Photographers, Bakers, and Florists Pay Exorbitant Fines and Penalties
As noted in earlier posts on this blog:
- The Kleins (bakers and owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa) were fined $135,000 for not providing a wedding cake to a lesbian couple
- Masterpiece Cakeshop of Colorado was fined and forced to complete sensitivity training because of his refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay marriage
- Washington grandmother and florist Barronelle Stutzman has been fined $1,001 and will now be forced to arrange flowers for gay weddings
- Betty and Richard Odgaard paid $5,000 in a settlement with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission after a complaint that they refused to host a gay wedding at the Görtz Haus Gallery (which included a bistro, flower shop, art gallery and wedding venue)
- Robert and Cynthia Gifford were fined $13,000 (including $3,000 in damages to the lesbian couple that complained) when they refused to provide their inn for a gay marriage
- Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin were fined almost $7,000 by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission for not photographing a gay wedding
The Supreme Court Insists County Clerks Must Violate their Conscience
A Kentucky County Clerk Refuses to Violate Her Conscience
According to the New York Times:
A county clerk in Kentucky who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds denied licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, saying she was acting “under God’s authority,” just hours after the Supreme Court refused to support her position.
In a raucous scene in this little town, two same-sex couples walked into the Rowan County Courthouse, trailed by television cameras and chanting protesters on both sides of the issue, only to be turned away by the county clerk, Kim Davis.
As one couple, David Ermold and David Moore, tried to engage her in an argument, Ms. Davis said several times that her office would not issue any marriage licenses. “Under whose authority?” Mr. Ermold asked.
“Under God’s authority,” she replied.
Davis came out of office briefly to speak to couple (part 1) pic.twitter.com/lzuHysWi0T
— Hillary Thornton (@HillaryWKYT) September 1, 2015
After Two Months, SCOTUS Abolishes Freedom of Religion for One Class of People (County Clerks)
Also according to the New York Times:
In June, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court established a nationwide constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The new case from Kentucky, Davis v. Miller, was the court’s first opportunity to consider whether government officials may refuse to comply with the Obergefell decision on religious grounds.
The case concerns Kim Davis, an elected clerk in rural Rowan County, Ky. After the state’s governor told county clerks to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples, a federal court rejected Ms. Davis’s argument that she should be excused from the obligation given her religious beliefs.
No article could be found in the 1 September 2015 issue of the New York Times regarding how many counties in Kentucky were issuing marriage licenses to gays.