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“The Supreme Court majority’s decision today creating a novel constitutional right to marriage between persons of the same sex was expected,” said David Nammo, executive director of the Christian Legal Society. 

“CLS acknowledges the majority’s recognition that ‘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.’ We hope that the justices mean what they say and will protect religious liberty for all Americans – especially those whose religious beliefs adhere to a traditional view of marriage.”

The Free Exercise of Religion protects the right of Americans to live lives of integrity and dignity according to their core religious convictions, even when those religious convictions are unfashionable and unpopular with legal and cultural elites.  It is precisely the purpose of the First Amendment to protect Americans’ right to live according to those religious beliefs

Heeding the warnings of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Alito, CLS will continue to respond and protect religious organizations and persons from those who may take this decision as liberty to be intolerant to those whose faith traditions disagree with same-sex marriage.

“As Chief Justice Roberts stated in his dissent, ‘Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage,’ and religious groups and organizations should understand that these questions will be hammered out court by court in many cases,” Nammo said.

The proponents of same-sex marriage have largely based their arguments on appeals to Americans’ traditional tolerance and fair-mindedness.  Unfortunately, in recent months, the proponents of same-sex marriage have failed to extend tolerance and fair-mindedness to their fellow Americans whose religious beliefs differ from their own. 

But today’s decision means it is now the turn of the proponents of same-sex marriage to practice the tolerance and fair-mindedness that they have preached for so long -- by respecting the constitutional right of their fellow Americans to live according to their sincere religious consciences.