Republican Reps. Representative Bryan Terry and Andy Holt of Tennessee wrote a bill to protect religious leaders from being forced to perform same-sex marriages in case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not ban gay marriage, which is what the high court did last Friday.
The "Pastor Protection Act" would keep religious leaders of any faith from being forced to perform same-sex marriages and allow houses of worship to deny the use of their facilities for gay marriage (video below).
Holt told NewsChannel 5:
The intention of this legislation is to provide legal immunity to religious leaders who wish not to provide ceremonies for same-sex couples. It also gives them the opportunity to deny the use of their facilities for such ceremonies.
Bishop David Choby, who supports the proposed bill, added:
If we believe, what we say we do, by way of religious freedom, then if it needs to be protected with some statute, I think it would probably be a good thing.
According to The Washington Post, the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote this passage in their pro-gay marriage ruling:
Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. 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, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.
However, Justice John Roberts wrote in his dissenting opinion:
Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for 28 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting religious practice. The majority’s decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage. Ante, at 27. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.