Pastor Protection Law in Effect As Supreme Court Considers Redefining Marriage
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to issue its monumental decision in the same-sex ‘marriage’ case, Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision could come as early as tomorrow and at the latest next Monday, June 29th.
Many experts believe there is a strong chance the U.S. Supreme Court will attempt to force same-sex ‘marriage’ on all 50 states, including Texas. This redefinition of marriage would change marriage as it has been known and celebrated for thousands of years in cultures worldwide.
While this would be another devastating blow to the institution of marriage, it will also certainly lead to escalation in the war on religious freedom. Current attacks on religious freedom have been focused on forcing Americans to recognize, celebrate and even participate in gay ‘marriages.’ The next step will be attempts and threats at forcing pastors and churches to perform or host same-sex ‘marriages’ in their facilities.
This is one of the main reasons that Texas Values and our legislative advocacy arm Texas Values Action provided strong legal and policy guidance in support of the Pastor Protection Law in the Texas Legislature. The Pastor Protection Law, which is already in effect, protects pastors, churches, and religious organizations from being forced to perform a same-sex ‘marriage’ that violates their beliefs.
Specifically, this bill states that:
- Pastor/Clergy, religious organizations, and employees of religious organizations may not be required to perform a marriage or provide goods, services, or accommodations related to a marriage ceremony if the action would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
- Government may not withhold benefits or privileges from clergy, religious organizations, and employees of religious organizations because they exercise their religious beliefs relating to marriage ceremonies.
Regardless of how the Supreme Court decides in the next few days, rest assured the battle over marriage and religious freedom has only just begun. Texas has taken a very important step in ensuring that our pastors and churches are able to live out their beliefs in biblical marriage.
As Gov. Greg Abbott stated when he signed the bill, “Religious leaders in the state of Texas must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that religious freedom is beyond the reach of government or coercion by the courts.” We encourage everyone to share this information with their pastors and churches.