A Christian college president says that Christian schools may have to close eventually or face discrimination lawsuits if the U.S. Supreme Court decides that states must recognize gay marriage.
Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College in Virginia, said faith-based colleges could have their tax exempt status revoked if the court decides in favor of gay marriage.
“Christian colleges and churches need to get prepared,” Farris wrote in a USA Today article. “We must decide which is more important to us—our tax exemption or our religious convictions.”
Christian News Network reports Justice Samuel Alito asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. if Christian colleges could lose their tax exempt status last month.
“In the (1983) Bob Jones case, the court held that a college was not entitled to tax exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?” Alito asked.
“It’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verilli said. “I don’t deny that.”
School could also face a lack of funding, Farris said.
“[S]ince PHC refuses all government aid, all of our donations for scholarships and buildings come from tax deductible gifts. Cutting off that stream of revenue is effectively the end of such colleges absent a team of donors who simply don’t care if gifts are deductible,” Farris said.
The U.S. Supreme Court could release its decision as early as next month.
Publication date: May 13, 2015