Amy at Texas Faith: Are gay rights, religious rights on a collision course?

question by Joel Thornton


It’s been three weeks since the Supreme Court ruled for same-sex marriage, and most of the hoopla has died down. But that doesn’t mean the pro- and anti- sides are any closer together on one of the most contentious issues in a generation.

A common theme from Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton has been that Texans’ religious liberties are at risk because of the Obergefell ruling. The Legislature passed a law protecting ministers from being sued if they refused to officiate at a same-sex wedding. Some county officials have resigned or resisted granting marriage licenses to spouses, citing their beliefs.

This week’s question: Are the religious rights of opponents of gay marriage genuinely at risk? Does granting gays and lesbians the right to marry affect heterosexual married couples?

Read the Panel

Of the hundreds of people I have communicated with who fall into the spiritual not religious/unchurched category — which is over 30 percent of the population in some areas — not a one has expressed opposition to gay marriage. The excessive interest in other people’s sex lives strikes us as strange. Conservative Christian objections toward interracial marriage were struck down in the courts decades ago. It’s obvious gay marriage would meet the same fate. It puzzles us why having slightly less of a Christian hegemony equals persecution. Besides, why should any religion be able to have sway over what is a civic institution?