By Hirak Mukhopadhyay
In the aftermath of gay marriage now being legal in all 50 states, there has been the expected backlash from Republicans and conservatives regarding the verdict. Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal believes it will lead to an all-out attack on religious freedom for Christians, and is eroding the “right” to religious liberty1, a concern shared by many other presidential candidates and their fellow Republican supporters. But the religious liberty argument is weakened by many factors: freedoms for homosexuals really makes no permanent change in the lives of many Americans, how religion is conveniently inserted into the gay marriage discussion when many things are no longer suppressed by religion, how religious liberty exemptions can be made about literally everything in our society, and how gay marriage along with other Christianity-bending laws actually protect religious liberty, not infringe upon them. All things considered, gay marriage is not a serious threat to the religious sectors of the United States.
I want to remind Governor Jindal a few things. First, that even if gays now marry, it will not reduce the amount of heterosexual weddings or relationships. Those will still happen in the same frequency. It’s not like anyone will now turn into a gay. One cannot become gay, it is simply a permanent preference. Just like how a homosexual cannot become a heterosexual even if he or she tried. In terms of those who are bisexual and the fear of them now choosing a same-sex couple instead a heterosexual couple more often since gay marriage is now allowed, well that is a preference of the partner they choose, and whether or not that is the person he or she wants to be with. Being open to both genders and still choosing that person is not a bias because they like both men and women, but rather that particular person (regardless of gender) is the best suitable life partner. Even after Loving v. Virginia (1967) was decided, I am sure some who once had illegal interracial relationships eventually ended up marrying someone who may have been their race after all, or of another color different than the previous minority partner. When interracial marriages were taking place after Loving, it was not solely because it was legal now, but because it was mutually decided that these two individuals want to spend the rest of their lives together. In the case for bisexuals in 2015, it is the same logic, a bisexual woman will not choose a woman for marriage despite previously dating men simply because it is now allowed; that woman must be content with being in permanent union with that particular woman. Now however, she can get marriage benefits and have a legitimate recognition that these two people were together in serious fashion. So it is beneficial besides being morally correct.
I also want to make clear that homosexuals, despite being shunned by many religious institutions, are not declaring war on the Catholic Church or the Jewish Synagogues. You don’t see gay pride parade marchers advocating to destroy churches. You don’t see homosexuals burning down churches or cathedrals. You’re not seeing gays and lesbians outside of mosques handing out pamphlets about how discriminatory mosques and Islam is. In fact, many LGBT people are actually religious and want to attend services because they support other teachings besides those that condemn their sexual orientation. Many LGBT people may want a wedding at a church or conducted by a pastor, and I think this is perfectly acceptable. Religious institutions always have an “Everyone Welcome” policy, so why can’t the religious community fully live up to that promise?
Gay people being married does not affect your life in any way. If you see gay people, you can ignore them. If you see gay parents at your child’s school, you can walk past them. If you have a gay cousin, you don’t have to go to the family reunion. But you cannot discriminate. That is against the law.
Speaking of the law, religious freedom is sealed within our First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To understand the role of government regulating or de-regulating religion, you must look no further than the case Reynolds vs. United States (1878) which determined that religious duty is not a defense to a crime. In the majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Morrison Waite, Waite cites the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1784), where Thomas Jefferson defines religious freedom (I will come back to this later). Here Jefferson states “that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.”2. In other words, government can only intervene when there religious actions become clear acts that are dangerous and violent. When two gay people are being married in a church, or a marriage conducted in Christianity of a moderate stripe (such as the Episcopal church allowing full marriage rites for same sex couples throughout denomination3), that moderate variation does not fall under an act against “good order” or “peace”, as everyone here is content with the marriage taking place. There is no violence or shouting, or killing. No one is in serious pain, except maybe the bigoted uncle in the room who is grimacing at the defiance of his morals, but that does not count under Jefferson’s circumstances. Human sacrifice or female genital mutilation would be when government has justified reasoning to interfere. I am bringing this up because not only do consented gay marriages in churches fall under constitutional religious freedom, but it also shows that gay marriage isn’t harming anyone. It isn’t causing any civil wars here. It simply proves my earlier point; gay marriage will not have catastrophic effects on the lives of straight couples or straight singles. Gay people and gay couples have been around for centuries, it hasn’t been a grave threat to society. Gay marriage does not make a huge impediment in the lives of those outside the gay community. Period.
Gay men and women are part of the American population. What they do in their own home may be against your religion. Be that it may, it is no excuse to have a low tolerance for the LGBT community. And speaking of excuses, I am sure some are not that religious; they use their faith as an excuse for feeling hatred towards gay people. Being hateful is simply punishing these people for being themselves. Bigots want to act like LGBT people do not exist and hope they just eventually go away. This is anti-democratic. It’s not ethnic, but rather, sexual orientation cleansing. And I mentioned that gay people do not usually commit violence, but there are plenty of beatings, correctional rapes, and killings done towards gay people, let’s not forget that. Sexual orientation cleansing is not a ludicrous observation. When LGBT couples are denied the right to marry, it takes away the luxury of having their relationship be viewed as legitimate. And the gift of marriage is not a Ferrari. It should not be an uncommon luxury.
The sudden following of religion when it comes to gay marriage is insincere and disturbingly well-timed. This new found strict interpretation of religion is not whole or universal; it only becomes whole and righteous and absolutely traditional when it comes to something that person does not like. If people were so strict and sincere when following their religion, then why do Christians have sexual relations before marriage? That’s against the religion. When an unmarried Muslim man or woman has sexual relations, do they get one hundred whippings when their parents find out? When married Muslim people cheat on their spouse and commit adultery and fornication, they get divorced, not stoned to death4. Even if someone were to inflict these punishments, they would be indicted under assault or murder charges, as Reynolds made it clear that religious duty such as stoning your spouse to death is not a defense for violations of criminal law2. It doesn’t happen anymore! Polygamy is also scattered throughout the Bible, yet we have laws prohibiting it, and Reynolds actually upheld its criminalization and found it constitutional to do so. I do not see a majority of Christians advocating for the repeal of polygamy laws in the same force of the calls to make constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage. Lastly, there is no way the Earth is 6,000 years old. A lot of religious things are no longer followed, and it’s time gay marriage falls into this category. Religion is skirted in the modern world, get over it!
Some people understand this. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had the opportunity to ban abortion for good in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) and chose not to, despite being a Catholic. In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), every Jewish justice supported the opinion making gay marriage legal in all 50 states, even though the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregation of America still opposes the concept of gay marriage5. It happens. There is more to life than your faith.
Religious civil liberties are absolutely real. But the First Amendment along with its Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause are NOT unlimited. If someone was to make an absolute observation of religious liberty, we would have a very different society. It would be successful lawsuits galore, taking a lot of things away.
Jews or Buddhists or followers of any other religion not regarding Jesus Christ could sue the NBA when they display Christmas decorations on the score panels on the bottom of the screen when ESPN/ABC broadcast games on Christmas day, because those graphics are against their religion, and Christmas, Christmas trees, and wreaths really do not have much to do with basketball. A non-believer in Christ can sue his or her workplace if they have a Christmas tree in the building, claiming his employer is doing something against his or her religion, and that person feels their religious rights are being compromised and they don’t want to “conform” to a society that is violating that particular person’s religion. Christians would be allowed to sue universities because their residence life set up coed dorms (a recipe for promiscuity) and allowed male and female students to openly engage in sexual intercourse. Last time I checked, very few college students are married. So can Christians sue in court and be able to stop sexual intercourse in college because it is forbidden in their religion and thus it offends them?
Likewise, Muslim college students may honestly be disturbed by the under and of age consumption of alcohol at college housing, can they sue and end college drinking on the basis of religious violations under the 1st Amendment? Say a Muslim family owns an IHOP restaurant. Since they do not eat pork, what if they removed all bacon, sausage, and ham items from the menu and served everything else, do you think the corporate folks at IHOP would let that slide? I do not think those at IHOP headquarters would really care if the sight and smell of cooking bacon and pork products is a violation of the Islamic religion. No one says the family has to eat it or taste it, you watch it being cooked, and you see it fly out the door, and if that’s too much for you, open a KFC or a vegetarian restaurant. I don’t see a problem there. Consider the Ali Baba Restaurant on Main Street very close to the University of Delaware (I’m a fan, by the way). It is a Middle Eastern restaurant, and many of its employees or the owner(s) may be Muslim and from a majority-Muslim nation. Naturally, cooking food during the fasting of Ramadan may be a difficult task, seeing delicious food in front of your eyes and having the aroma in your face while you cannot eat until sundown. Ali Baba is perfectly within reason to have its doors closed until sundown for that purpose if the management finds it feasible and will not result in loss of profits large enough to create financial insecurity. However, if it has daily, weekly, or monthly expenses such as rent, maintenance of the property, money owed to food suppliers or banks/lenders, and those obligations cannot be paid in full due to closing of the restaurant during lunch or early dinner hours which in turn doesn’t generate enough profit, then I do not believe that those who are owed money will happily forgo collecting dues because Ali Baba did not generate adequate revenue due to religious conflicts. In a realistic world, I find it hard to believe that Ramadan can be an excuse not to fully pay or delay owed payment to Comcast. In fact, I had lunch at Ali Baba one day during Ramadan fasts, and the owner and staff were all very friendly, in a good mood, and made no scornful glances at me as I devoured a delicious gyro sandwich.
Back on campus, dining halls often serve burgers and cheesesteaks, can Hindu students sue the University of Delaware and end the serving of beef to all persons simply because it is against their religion? Can the Hindu owners of the Dunkin Donuts on Main Street near UD (I know the owners and this is hypothetical, relax) cite religious liberty as a green light to conduct caste discrimination of their Hindu-Indian employees here in America because it is a practice of the Hindu religion?
No, no, no, and no to all of the things mentioned above. It is a free country, and no one is so overzealous in their pursuit of religious liberty and strict implementation of their religion and nor should they be. In fact, I would argue too much enforcement of the First Amendment actually cancels out religious protections in the First Amendment, such as the free exercise clause giving free speech rights to ESPN to have Christmas graphics on telecasts, or Goldman Sachs having a Christmas tree in their lobby. The First Amendment, viewed extremely broadly and/or powerfully, will destroy itself. Also, the quest for religious liberty with such force will NEVER end. If creative enough, you can argue anything to be a violation of someone’s religion. As said by Justice Owen Roberts in Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940): “The Amendment embraces two concepts — freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is absolute, but, in the nature of things, the second cannot be”6. Therefore, religious liberty has its constraints, and those constraints, in my view, should apply to the religiously-motivated stopping of gay marriage the same way religious liberty constraints apply miscellaneously to many other issues of the day mentioned above.
Bobby Jindal is not the only person who makes me question the intelligence of politicians. When Texas Governor Greg Abbott (who used to be Attorney General of Texas, which I add with much trepidation) issued a statement on the Obergefell ruling saying that “Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.”7, it was a statement beyond coherence. Never mind that Abbott thinks Texans can defy the Supreme Court, Abbott suggest a loophole that actually fails in another very controversial activity- abortion. Just like how Abbott suggests you do not have to something contrary to their religious beliefs regarding marriage, someone refusing to do something against their religious beliefs, such as a doctor refusing to perform abortions, is illegal. Roe v. Wade (1973) made abortion legal. The entire country (and Texas is a state if my eyesight is not failing me when I look at a map) must abide by that. Abbott’s suggestion is impossible to follow legally, because the law HAS CHANGED. Gay marriage must be allowed now, whether you like or not. You must respect the law. The same way abortion is allowed, blacks can go to school with whites, and states can be asked to stop recounts in presidential elections, even in the closest election in American history (cough, cough!). No Governor Abbott, you actually cannot do that and have it be constitutional.
But I don’t expect Greg Abbott to know any better. Texas has closed a ton of their abortion clinics and made them very hard to reach, making many women who cannot afford the journey or find it to be too much of a hassle decide to not go through with the abortion. It has become such a legal battle that the Supreme Court is currently debating whether or not to hear the case the in the next term8. But obviously, closing down access to abortion clinics makes abortion virtually impossible, which is a situationally-imposed prohibition of abortion, which makes it unconstitutional.
That’s beside the point. Closing down abortion clinics makes another situation a reality. People who cannot afford children or have a rocky financial situation or those convinced by Christian conservatives’ anti-abortion rhetoric whining about how “life begins at contraception and is therefore abortion is murder” will decide to have the child, and then may find themselves in a few years living off of welfare and food stamps, another thing conservatives love to whine about, even though the Bible states that you should give a feast to the poor (Luke 14:13)9. But in reality, the “living off the government” lifestyle is a problem that conservatives and Republicans partly CREATED on their own. Whining led to more whining about something else, which they could have avoided if they didn’t whine to begin with. The same thing also applies to gay marriage. Conservatives want to whine about how gay marriage is against Christianity, but then when LGBT people are trying to get licenses and are refused that service, it creates a huge backlog of people waiting to be married. It can become a crowded, hostile, angry, even violent situation in these places of marriage registration or “marriage courts” between license seekers and marriage clerks. And of course we will hear about whining about that too, which wouldn’t have happened if Republicans didn’t whine about the morals of gay marriage and convince clerks not to follow these requests in the first place. Republicans make their own problems by opposing religious liberty. In this case, faulty religious liberty stalling makes gay marriage a lot harder than it has to be. It just isn’t fair towards the people who have been waiting so long for the opportunity to marry the love of their life.
When it comes to religious liberty, I actually make a very opposite observation than conservatives. I believe Christianity-challenging case outcomes like Roe or Obergefell are actually protections of religious liberty, not assaults on Christianity in any form. If you have deep Christian beliefs, no one is forcing you to have an abortion, and I don’t view forced abortion as an acceptable thing. No one is forcing Christian spectators or pastors to be at gay weddings against their will. But the reason why I argue Roe is protecting religious liberty is because there are plenty of people who do not believe abortion or gay marriage is that much of a sin, such as Christians of moderate threshold, Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, other religious followers, agnostics, and atheists. When these two topics are not against their personal beliefs, bogging them down via moral objections that are more often-than-not rooted in fundamentalist Christian principles is not liberty. Religious minority groups or groups that lack faith should not have to deal with the virtues of a religion they do not even follow in their personal decisions about their love life or their family planning, not to mention financial consequences of both having a child and having marriage benefits. Don’t forget what freedom means. Freedom means to let go, not restrict. So let gay marriage and abortion go. No one says you have to care about religion. It is a free country. I see Roe and Obergefell as a way to curb Christianity being shoved down someone’s throat, because frankly some non-Christians wouldn’t like that. The same way Christians don’t like non-Christian values being shoved down their throat either. But alas, since the values being shoved down the throats of others (who they can care less about) are their own Christian values, they see it to be acceptable because they are personally content with it. That’s selfish. Myopic. Uneducated. It really isn’t that hard of a concept to understand.
The decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014) is just that, shoving religion down someone else’s throat. Just because the family who owns the Hobby Lobby chain is so religious they find contraception against their religion (while many Christian entities do not), doesn’t mean they have to impose that position on their employees and not allow them access to birth control that was promised to them through the ACA10 [FN1] . Not to mention the fact that many of Hobby Lobby’s employees could be atheist, Buddhist, Jewish, and anything else, and their own decision to believe what they want to believe has no worth anymore. The fact they are comfortable with birth control and cannot have it is injustice, considering all the layers there are to reproductive decisions dissected above. Since Hobby Lobby owners cannot get the employees of their business to convert to their religion or adopt their fundamentalism, they decide the next best thing is to have their personalized Christian views makes an impact on employees’ daily life regardless of their faith. Hobby Lobby isn’t a victory of religious liberty; it’s one religion taking up the room of all other religions. When a particular group has no religious liberty, then no one has religious liberty.
What is most disturbing about Hobby Lobby is that a group of judges decided to interpret the legitimacy of religious views, when they are judges of U.S. Constitutional and federal laws, not religious laws. For all the flack Sharia law gets, Christians also want to make laws be dented by religious belief. The majority of Hobby Lobby were comparing the merits of religion in its fight against passed legislation, when these claims had very fragile religious standing. This is exactly what Thomas Jefferson said not to do in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: “that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty,”2. These originalist justices aren’t originalist enough, ignoring the original intent of Jefferson. Therefore, Libertarians should see Roe and Obergefell as victories, and Hobby Lobby as a loss, because the majority of Justices did not protect the civil liberties of the Hobby Lobby employees, who outnumber the owners and are the ones who are actually in direct contact with customers.
I wish people cared about real religious liberties. Giving people the respect to wear hijabs and turbans in the workplace and be able to practice their religion even when they may be the only one, letting people wear crosses on their neck without making “Bible-hugger” stereotypes, and not being racist or phobic to other religions and cultures. In addition, I would advocate to make sure certain religions don’t get downplayed, and stop the verbal convincing upon others that one religion is better or more rational than others. All religions are different, there is no need for comparison! Downplaying and making a religion seem superior/inferior is really leading up to one final product: conversion. And conversion should be voluntary, not someone succumbing to pressure to conform. One way of preventing this is to make efforts to provide all religious services so everyone is happy, instead of being forced to choose a substitute or eventual replacement. But there should also be the option to turn down religious services if one does not want to participate. I believe religious landmarks and places are acceptable on a case by case basis, but there is no uniformed, correct answer to these things. Full religious freedom and absolute adherence to religion is unacceptable. Religion cannot go out of control.
In closing, homosexuality will not go away. Neither will the LGBT folks in this country or in the world. They will be born time and time again. Being an LGBT person is hard enough; they have plenty of headaches and challenges in their lives. The least society can do is give them the right to marry and be with someone they love. As Ted Olson said, marriage is a conservative value. And it is; a traditional, formal recognition of the love between two people regardless of individual gender, and gives formal designation to parent children, whether they are biological, somewhat biological, or completely unrelated. Republicans are all about family values- gay marriage preserves family values. Accept the LGBT and gay marriage because these are people in your family, and you should love your family. I never knew religious liberty means more to the people than family. But gay marriage isn’t a violation of religious liberty. For the last time, stop using gay marriage as fuel to prop up religious liberty or the presence of religion in everyday life. That’s not directed towards just Christians, but Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and anyone who finds gay marriage to be a violation of their own religion. Inequity is a greater travesty than sacrilege.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
- Anthony M. Kennedy, U.S. Supreme Court (Obergefell v. Hodges) (2015)11
Hirak Mukhopadhyay is a rising junior at the University of Delaware, studying political science, economics, and philosophy. He is also the Director of Club Development for the University of Delaware Chapter of the College Democrats. Follow him on Twitter @Mookie_H
I cannot help but laugh when I see that the lovely owners at Hobby Lobby decided to file a lawsuit citing the religious hardship of giving birth control as reasons to get out of the ACA mandate until 2012. Hobby Lobby actually provided birth control to their employees until that year12. So, did Hobby Lobby owners suddenly become more religious in 2012? As preposterous as that sounds, my guess is actually something even more ridiculous. My theory (and it is just a theory) is that the Hobby Lobby owners already opposed Obamacare, and when they saw that the contraception coverage that was already given was now required under Obamacare, they felt far too constricted and controlled by the government (which riles many people up) and also saw an actual opening to attack the ACA and bring it down. Citing religious concerns with convincing rhetoric along with the boiling partisan anger at Obamacare in Washington, the Supreme Court’s conservative wing fresh off from losing the battle to destroy Obamacare, and the conservative wing being judicial activists, Hobby Lobby was in a position to win its case at the Supreme Court. I must give the righteous family at Hobby Lobby some credit, they are great opportunists in using religion to weaken government! In turn they used and exploited the conservative wing Supreme Court to score political points, fooling them into thinking they had a real religious issue with birth control so they strike down the birth control mandate.
If they really did have a problem, why were they providing birth control before, even when they had no one telling them to do so? I find it awfully convenient that as soon as President Obama wrote legislation mandating contraceptives, Hobby Lobby business honchos suddenly found religious belief way too strong to tolerate a practice they’ve already been doing. And let’s say their claim is true, they really didn’t know that the insurance coverage they provide to their employees covered Plan B and Ella. Well, for someone who is so religiously against birth control and believes birth control can cause abortions as if Plan B and Ella were abortion pills, how come they never ever thought to check and make sure their insurance policy didn’t cover it? Can the Hobby Lobby execs be so religious in their heart, yet so irresponsible and idle in following those religious beliefs? I can’t help but doubt it. Plan B was approved by the FDA in 1999, Ella in 201012. Where have the Hobby Lobby owners been all that time? They had plenty of time to figure out what these drugs were and get them out of the hands of their employees before the ACA mandated them, but they didn’t. All of these underlying facts are things that the people who celebrating the verdict forgot to mention.
This is exactly what I mean when I said that religious liberty concerns are way too insincere, inconsistent, and incredibly time-convenient. Only until Obama, who the owners oppose, mandated these drugs did they object to the providing of them. The move was purely political.
Hobby Lobby is more than just a bad precedent in American law, but also sets a bad precedent in the way Washington works. When Congress fails to repeal legislation (Roughly 30 repeal attempts for Obamacare in 2012 in the year Hobby Lobby filed, that has ballooned up to roughly 56 now13, 14), corporations can use the Supreme Court to win political battles by striking all or portions of it down, using Justices as pawns to get them across the finish line, even when they are being fraudulent like I hypothesize here. Tricking the Supreme Court and the general public into thinking this is a legal issue when the Court is actually playing politics is a terrifying precedent for the Supreme Court. I do not think the Founding Fathers envisioned the Court to be a last-minute tool for partisan hacks that don’t get their way to somehow pull out a last second victory.
The medical community has unanimously rejected the scientific claim that Plan B and Ella cause abortions, including the Catholic Health Association. Religiously, Hobby Lobby’s claims are shaky, but they are flat out wrong scientifically, as they claim these drugs do cause abortions. We live in an age where business partners at an arts and crafts store think they know more about reproduction than the American Medical Association, Physicians for Reproductive Health, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists12.
This is the state of courts in the United States, where instead of having this type of political fraud prosecuted, it helps win cases at the highest court of the land. A round of applause for a good ole’ fashioned sham.
1 “Governor Jindal Releases Statement on Gay Marriage Ruling | Bobby Jindal for President.” BobbyJindal.com. Bobby Jindal for President, 26 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.bobbyjindal.com/governor-jindal-releases-statement-on-gay-marriage-ruling/>.
2 Reynolds v. United States. U.S. Supreme Court. 1878. Justia. Web. 20 July 2015. <https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/98/145/case.html>.
3 Ring, Trudy. “Episcopal Church to Allow Same-Sex Marriages.” Advocate.com. Advocate.com, 2 July 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2015/07/02/episcopal-church-allow-same-sex-marriages>.
4 Euben, Roxanne L., and Muhammad Qasim. Zaman. Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden. Princeton ; Oxford: Princeton UP, 2009. 96. Print.
5 “Orthodox Union Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges – OU Advocacy Center.” OU Advocacy Center. N.p., 26 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://advocacy.ou.org/2015/orthodox-union-statement-supreme-courts-ruling-obergefell-v-hodges/>.
6 Cantwell v. Connecticut. U.S. Supreme Court. 20 May 1940. Justia. Web. 20 July 2015. <https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/310/296/case.html>.
7 “Governor Abbott Statement on Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage.” Gov.State.Gov. Office of the Governor Greg Abbott, 26 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://gov.texas.gov/news/press-release/21131>.
8 Liptak, Adam, and Manny Fernandez. “Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics to Remain Open.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/30/us/supreme-court-allows-texas-abortion-clinics-to-remain-open.html?_r=0>.
9 “35 Bible Verses about Jesus And The Poor.” Openbible.info. Openbible.info, n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.openbible.info/topics/jesus_and_the_poor>.
10 Mears, Bill, and Tom Cohen. “Supreme Court Rules against Obama in Contraception Case – CNNPolitics.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 30 June 2014. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/30/politics/scotus-obamacare-contraception/>.
11 Obergefell v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health. U.S. Supreme Court. 26 June 2015. SupremeCourt.org. Supremecourt.gov, 26 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf>.
12Woodward, Brian. “Hobby Lobby Provided Emergency Contraceptives before They Opposed Them.” Red Dirt Report. Reddirtreport.com, 27 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.reddirtreport.com/prairie-opinions/hobby-lobby-provided-emergency-contraceptives-they-opposed-them>.
1307-11-2012_ Dingell Admonishes House GOP for Futile Repeal Efforts. Perf. John Dingell. YouTube.com. YouTube, 11 July 2012. Web. 20 June 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKyopupojuA>.
14Milibank, Dana. “With Another Obamacare Repeal Vote, GOP Sets ‘world Record in Political Futility'” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 03 Feb. 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-with-latest-obamacare-repeal-vote-gop-sets-record-for-futility/2015/02/03/26a4266c-abf2-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html>.