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Same-Sex Marriage

Will pastors have to perform marriages contrary to their religious beliefs?

by Richard R. Hammar

In 2010 a federal district court judge in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8, by which the voters of California overturned a state supreme court decision recognizing a state constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry, was itself a violation of the due process and equal protection guarantees of the United States Constitution. The judge responded to the concern that pastors would now have to perform marriages contrary to their religious beliefs by noting:

Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage. Religious leaders may determine independently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law ….
Proposition 8 does not affect ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 2010

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