Last summer, even before the Supreme Court decision legitimizing same-sex marriage, conservative Christians were already anxious about the consequences for religious freedom. It is not an irrational fear. Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California–Los Angeles, was quoted in The New York Times as saying:
“If I were a conservative Christian (which I most certainly am not), I would be very reasonably fearful, not just as to tax exemptions but as to a wide range of other programs—fearful that within a generation or so, my religious beliefs would be treated the same way as racist religious beliefs are.”
Matthew J. Tuininga, assistant professor of moral theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, voiced the concerns of many about Obergefell’s potentially far-reaching implications:
”We are not just talking about photographers, florists, or cake decorators being forced to serve at gay weddings, though those concerns are legitimate. We are talking about adoption agencies being required to assign children to gay couples, colleges and universities being required to offer same-sex couples access to married housing, and any number of similar scenarios revolving around perceived discrimination against gays and lesbians.”
Since Obergefell, the anxiety has only risen. One reason is the religious nature of the disagreement. Both religious conservatives and LGBT activists ground their respective claims in metaphysics. To simplify: The first group believes that sexual mores are rooted in God-given teaching and the natural order. The second group believes every individual has the right to determine how to live sexually, and we each are duty bound to be true to ourselves, however we conceive ...