Image: Gage Skidmore

Image: Gage Skidmore

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two key cases regarding same-sex marriage: challenges to California’s Proposition 8 and to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Republicans and conservatives have long expressed concern that legalizing same sex marriage will threaten their First Amendment rights, and these cases have prompted the latest round of alarm. For instance, Erick Erickson, managing editor of, writes that same-sex marriage supporters “will have to decide which they value more—the ability of a single digit percentage of Americans to get married or the First Amendment. The two are not compatible.”

Within a year or two, we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax-exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan. In some places, this is already happening.

Although the legalization of same-sex marriage cannot cause such problems, the violation of property and contract rights can; and some businesses have faced legal challenges, fines, and other penalties for “discriminating” against gay couples. (See, for example, the Liberty Ridge Farms case of 2012.) . . .

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