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Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage arguments in April; final decision slated for June

On Thursday, March 5, it was announced that, on April 28, the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding same-sex marriage. They will make a final decision sometime before July-- estimating the end of June. The decision is black and white and will either result in a nation-wide legalization of same-sex marriage, or will leave the issue up to individual states. Same sex marriage is currently legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia. While Christians are protesting the matter, there is still a great amount of support. Baptist Press asserts that, “nearly 2,000 religious leaders; almost 400 major corporations; more than 220 mayors, including those of the five largest American cities; and more than 300 conservatives and Republicans,” have filed briefs in support of gay marriage. Freedom to Marry, an LGBT organization, also filed a brief, asserting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will consider two questions: first, they will question whether the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires a state to license marriage for same-sex couples, and, second, they will question if the 14th amendment requires a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same-sex if they were legally married in another state. The court will allow the first question to be argued for 90 minutes and the second, one hour. According to the Baptist Press, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said, “We should pray for the court, that they will not seek to redefine marriage. And even more than that, we should pray for churches who will know how to articulate and embody a Christian vision of marriage as the one-flesh union of a man and a woman in the tumultuous years ahead.” The BP stresses that this ruling infringes on the religious freedom of many because, if same-sex marriage is legalized, businesses, government workers, churches and organizations who stand up for their belief that marriage is the sovereign union between a man and woman, will be, and are already being, reprimanded. “The expansion of same-sex marriage has resulted in a growing clash between the rights of gay couples and the religious freedom of individuals and organizations,” said Tom Strode, of the Baptist Press. “Photographers, florists, bakers and other business owners who oppose serving in support of same-sex wedding ceremonies have been penalized or are facing penalties for their refusal.”

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