Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Kansas Governor Shields Clergy and Religious Social Service Groups That Object To Same-Sex Marriage

Yesterday Kansas Governor Sam Brownback issued Executive Order 15-05 (full text) protecting clergy, religious leaders and religious organizations that have moral objections to same-sex marriage from adverse action by the state. It prohibits the state government from taking any discriminatory action against any individual clergy or religious leader who declines on religious or moral grounds to perform, solemnize, or facilitate a same-sex marriage.  It similarly bars discriminatory action against any religious organization that refuses to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, celebration or recognition of any same-sex marriage.

Finally the Executive Order provides that the state may not take discriminatory action against a religious organization that provides social services or charitable services because the organization acts upon sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. Discriminatory action includes denial of tax exemptions or benefits, denial of state grants or contracts, and denial of licensing or accreditation.

The governor issued a press release announcing the Executive Order. Washington Post reports on the governor's action. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]