Can States Fight Same-Sex Marriage?
According to Yahoo! Politics, not everyone is celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision making same-sex marriage legal across the nation. There is a resistance that has emerged in those states that want to fight the ruling.
Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, has determined that state employees do not have to grant same-sex couples with marriage licenses if it violates their individual religious beliefs. Tennessee lawmakers have already started writing legislation to safeguard religious leaders from being required to preside over same-sex marriages. Utah and Mississippi may eliminate the issuance of marriage licenses by their states, while Alabama and Kentucky have ceased to grant licenses altogether.
While these moves by the states indicate their displeasure with the Supreme Court’s ruling, efforts to only approve marriages that were conducted in a religious ceremony will be unconstitutional. It is predicted that couples who do not want to participate in a religious ceremony will sue the state for religious discrimination for preventing them from having a civil ceremony.
What happens if states stop issuing marriage licenses altogether? It is likely that issuing marriage licenses could become the federal government’s duty. Married couples receive benefits from the federal government, so it would become its responsibility to handle the gap left by the states. This would not likely be an easy transition.
Many predict that the argument that legalizing gay marriages would lead to religious leaders being forced against their beliefs to conduct ceremonies for same-sex couples is unfounded. The reality is that same-sex couples are highly unlikely to choose somebody who is opposed to their union to preside over their ceremony. Additionally, the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution protects religious expression. The bigger issue to be addressed is whether state employees have any protection.
We will continue to monitor the reaction and the issues that arise from the legalization of same-sex marriage. If you are facing divorce or you have other family law needs, our legal team is here to help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.