Thursday, July 2, 2015
Although the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on Friday, ministers will not be forced to marry gay couples, said a professor who specializes in constitutional law.
"As of today, there are no laws in the state of Michigan requiring a minister to marry somebody they don't want to marry," said Devin Schindler, a professor for Western Michigan University's Cooley Law School.
"I don't think that is going to happen" in the future either, he said. "There are lots of arguments to the contrary," considering the religious freedoms under the U.S. Constitution that allow churches to set rules for membership and practices.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court case, explicitly addressed that question in the court's 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," Kennedy wrote in his ruling. "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."
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