Allen B. West

BREAKING: Federal court deals major BLOW to religious freedom

Hours after the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law regulating abortions — ruling in favor of a woman’s “right” to an abortion over an unborn baby’s right to live — a federal judge has dealt a blow to Americans’ First Amendment rights.

Via The Washington Times:

A federal judge has ruled that Mississippi clerks cannot cite their own religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ ruling on Monday blocks the state from enforcing part of a religious objections bill that was supposed to become law Friday.

Reeves is extending his previous order that overturned Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage. He says circuit clerks are required to provide equal treatment for all couples, gay or straight.

Mississippi’s religious objections measure, House Bill 1523, was filed in response to last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

While I (Michelle Jesse) am all for equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, it’s a curious position we’re now in when it conflicts with the First Amendment rights of some Americans. I mean, why not allow a federal clerk to recuse him or herself from performing the task of issuing same-sex marriage licenses — and let the couple receiving the license get it from someone on staff whose religion does not have an issue with same-sex marriages? Isn’t there still room to accommodate equal protection and religious freedom?

So far, the examples of religious objection to same-sex marriage have been from Christian clerks. We’ve not yet seen a devout Muslim, for example, in the position of having to issue same-sex marriage licenses? Will that, when it happens, be treated the same way?

[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]

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