Justice Kennedy, in his opinion establishing gay marriage, did affirm the right of religious people to disagree with same sex unions. But the dissenting justices warned that this ruling could cause conflicts with religious liberty. The Constitution protects not just religious beliefs privately held, they observe, but the “free exercise” of religion. That is, what religious people do because of their religion.
The words of these opinions are likely to be parsed closely in the days to come, and the nature of religious liberty in this country is likely to be determined by legal wrangles about what the words “free exercise” mean. [Read more...]