In 2015, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges held that the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize their marriages.
Yet, some still seek to allow businesses, government officials, and taxpayer-funded organizations to use religion as a way to undermine this fundamental right to marry and discriminate against same-sex couples. We oppose these efforts because the religious views of business owners, public servants, and government contractors do not entitle them to deny same-sex couples the right to marry or to get goods and services—or the dignity they deserve.
Our lawyers are litigating a range of cases involving marriage equality and discrimination against same-sex couples
Federal and state legislators have introduced a wide variety of bills that undermine marriage equality. Read about bills in the states and in Congress—and our work to oppose them.
The most common categories of legislation focus on:
First Amendment Defense Acts (FADA)
Also known as FADAs, these are based on a federal bill that would allow private businesses, federal contractors and grantees, and even government employees to discriminate against same-sex couples, unmarried couples, people who have remarried, single mothers, those who have had sex outside of marriage, and others. Some state bills are narrower or broader than the federal FADA; however, all of these bills seek to sanction discrimination, allowing individuals and entities to ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs about marriage. Read more.
Pastor Protection Acts
Generally, these bills prohibit the state from requiring clergy and religious institutions to perform marriages for same-sex or other couples if such marriages conflict with their religious beliefs. Some Pastor Protection Acts, however, are more expansive and would also allow commercial entities owned or run by religious organizations to refuse to provide any wedding related services to couples whose marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Changing The State's Role In Marriage
These bills would eliminate or reduce the state’s role in licensing or officiating marriages.
Nullification of Marriage Equality
Penalties for Recognizing Marriage
These bills would require firing of or pay cuts for government officials and employees who follow the Constitution and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples.
Here's why it's important to oppose FADAs and bills that allow government officials to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.