A U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage for all states threatens Oklahomans’ ability to live out their religious beliefs in the public square, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a written statement.
As an example, Pruitt said, churches and other religious organizations could face having their tax-exempt status revoked for refusing to recognize same-sex marriage.
The high court’s ruling, known as Obergefell v. Hodges and issued Friday, declared marriage to be equally open to same-sex and heterosexual couples.
Writing for the five-justice majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that for same-sex couples, “their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
In his statement, Pruitt said the ruling “was not grounded in our Constitution, but rather in five unelected judges’ view of what the law ought to be. That is not what our Founders had in mind.
“Today’s decision also threatens the ability of citizens to live out their faith in the public square,” Pruitt added. He cited a response made by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the Obama administration’s attorney, to a question by Justice Samuel Alito during oral arguments in the case. Verrilli acknowledged that if same-sex marriage were approved, the tax-exempt status of a religious college or university that opposed same-sex marriage could become an issue.
“This is unacceptable, and my office will fight at every turn to protect the religious liberties of Oklahomans,” Pruitt said.