The governor of Kansas has issued an executive order that protects pastors from lawsuits that could emerge over refusal to officiate gay weddings. The order from Gov. Sam Brownback comes after the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States.
In a statement, Brownback said, “We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision. We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected. The Kansas Bill of Rights affirms the right to worship according to ‘dictates of conscience’ and further protects against any infringement of that right. Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs."
WORLD Magazine reports Kansas is the third state to enact a bill of this variety after Oklahoma and Texas. Tennessee is also considering an order than would protect clergy members from potential lawsuits.
In accordance with the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, pastors are not required to perform gay wedding ceremonies. As of yet, no clergy members have been sued for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings.
Publication date: July 8, 2015