The Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage has staggering implications for religious freedom, and the ability for individuals, for-profit businesses, non-profit businesses, religious schools and ministries to freely operate in accordance with their faith convictions.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are currently seeking to use the recent decision to craft sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI”) laws in order to treat those who believe in traditional marriage in the same manner that society and law treats racists.
These laws are attempting to fulfill in Pennsylvania the warning Justice Alito gave in his dissent:
“[This decision] will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent…. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”
The risks are numerous: churches could be forced to rent their fellowship hall for same-sex wedding receptions. An employer could fire you after learning that you voiced public support for one man, one woman marriage. Employers or managers who express support for marriage between one man and one woman will be vulnerable to hostile work environment claims. Religious schools could be forced to hire and retain teachers that reject the school’s religious teaching on same-sex marriage.
BUT THERE ARE THINGS that can be done proactively here in Pennsylvania and in your own businesses, schools or ministries to help stop these implications.
First, you must get involved in stopping these SOGI laws and then help support laws that will protect religious liberty.
Individuals, businesses, and ministries must make their voices heard to their friends and elected leaders. Contact your state lawmakers about voting down any SOGI law – click here to send an email.
Second, click any of the following links for various resources to help protect your church, school, ministry from those who seek to silence and punish those who cannot in good conscience accept, endorse or promote messages, ideas and events about human sexuality that violate their faith.
The new concept – that “sexual liberty” trumps religious freedom – has begun to impact churches, ministries, business owners, employees, employers and individual Christians across this nation. In fact, Chai Feldblum, the Commissioner for the Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) has said, “There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases, the sexual liberty should win….”
Those who remain true to Scripture’s teachings about sexuality and gender may not be immune from the damaging attacks and lawsuits intended to vilify and stamp out any attempt to dissent from the new sexual ethics.
Numerous organizations have developed legal guides and templates to use as a resource for drafting bylaws, articles of incorporation, employment manuals, discipline policies, and other corporate documents (see links above for a collection of these resources). These guides can help you deal with a variety of the legal challenges that some fellow believers around the country have already faced as well as for the new threats that are near the horizon.
*** To implement any of these protections, we invite you to contact our legal team at the Independence Law Center who welcome guiding you, free of charge, through what protections may be needed for your unique circumstances. Phone: 717-657-4990 or fill out an online form here.