Legal Q & A

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Religious Freedom


Q. What should churches and ministries know about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriage?

... On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. The decision also requires states to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed in another state.

Q: Are clergy members required to sign marriage licenses?

...If a clergyperson chooses to officiate or solemnize a wedding, most states require the officiant to sign the state marriage license in order for the marriage to be recognized by the state...

Q: Can an employee sue a church or ministry for decisions based on religious beliefs?

... A landmark 2012 U. S. Supreme Court ruling makes it much easier for churches and other ministries to defend themselves when church leaders make decisions based on their religious beliefs.

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The information we provide is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. Accordingly, no attorney/client relationship is created through this process, and no legal advice will be provided. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.

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