The following is EPPC Fellow Mary Rice Hasson’s contribution to National Review Online’s symposium on the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
What’s next after Obergefell? Religious liberty is on shaky ground. Tax exemptions of religious institutions will be attacked if their policies (employee benefits, married-student housing, etc.) do not recognize same-sex “married” couples. And while the Court (magnanimously) observed that the First Amendment still protects the right of religions to “teach” and “advocate” for their beliefs, this language appears to shrink religious freedom to the same space already occupied by free-speech claims. Further, though Justice Roberts noted wryly that there’s no “’Nobility and Dignity’ Clause in the Constitution,” the current Court’s sympathy for “stories” of gay and lesbian hurt means we can expect other aggrieved individuals also to tug at the Court’s heartstrings. Polyamorists want their “dignity” too.
And what’s next for us? Justice Roberts acknowledged that the traditional view of marriage, now rejected by the Court, was based on the “nature of things.” Here is where our work lies, for this ruling upends the truth about “the nature of things.” Our children — in schools, media, and government actions — will be inundated with lies about the new “nature of things,” that same-sex marriage is, well, just the same. It’s up to us to speak the truth.
— Mary Rice Hasson is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and editor of Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church.