Republican calls for Court to protect religious institutions in gay marriage ruling

Republican calls for Court to protect religious institutions in gay marriage ruling

As the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling on same-sex marriage, Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after pushback from Klobuchar, Lee Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies MORE (R-Utah) is calling on Congress to protect the freedoms of religious institutions.

During oral arguments in the historic same-sex marriage case — Obergfell v. Hodges — Lee said he was troubled by answers Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, arguing in favor of same-sex marriage on behalf of the Obama administration, gave when asked if the government could revoke a religious institution’s tax-exempt status if the court legalizes gay marriage.


“I don't deny that,” Verrilli said. “It is ­­going to be an issue.”

Lee said he is planning to introduce a new iteration of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act he introduced last session.

The bill will have a new name and contain new language to ban the federal government from taking any adverse actions against individuals or institutions based on their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“It’s making good on a statement Obama made on the Windsor case,” he said

After the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and forced the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in U.S. v. Windsor case in 2013, Lee said Obama promised to not force any church to perform a same-sex marriage.

“We need to make sure President Obama really means it and put the force of law behind his statement,” he said. “We ought to have a guarantee by the government to the American people.”

Without the protection of Lee’s legislation, Keith Wiebe, president of the American Association of Christian Schools, said Christian schools’ tax-exempt status, accreditation and teacher certifications are in danger.

“The federal government should not discriminate against people simply because they believe in a natural marriage,” he said.