Many people do not realize there is more at stake than just the definition of marriage if the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
Attorneys arguing in favor of same-sex marriage admit they are looking for a legal sea change. If the Supreme Court goes their way, it could also create a de facto nationwide anti-discrimination law regarding homosexuality.
In other words, those who identify as homosexuals would become a “protected class” of citizens, meaning any law or policy, including those governing religious non-profits, would fall under increased judicial scrutiny. Religious schools and other institutions that refuse to hire homosexuals would face a much higher hurdle to prove their religious liberty interest is greater than the government’s responsibility to uphold the liberty and equal protection rights of homosexuals.
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In the Daily Signal, Ryan Anderson highlighted a portion of Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court in which the Obama administration’s top lawyer admitted religious schools’ non-profit status could be in jeopardy:
One of the more startling portions of oral arguments today at the Supreme Court was the willingness of the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, to admit that religious schools that affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman may lose their non-profit tax-exempt status if marriage is redefined.
Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli whether a religious school that believed marriage was the union of husband and wife would lose their non-profit tax status.
The solicitor general answered: “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is it is (sic) going to be an issue.”
Susan Sommers, an attorney for Lambda Legal Defense (a pro-homosexual rights group), told the New York Times a broad Supreme Court ruling firmly establishing homosexuality as a constitutional right is what her side seeks:
The court has an opportunity to make explicit that laws and government actions targeting gay people do not deserve to be presumed constitutional and to require the government to justify their discrimination. Such a ruling would speed an end to the discrimination that has plagued gay Americans for decades.
What is at stake is not only the issue of marriage, but what religious liberty will look like in America going forward.