Free Speech Amicus Brief Filed on Behalf of NRB, Others in Supreme Court Marriage Case

Wedding RingsOn behalf of NRB and other prominent religious organizations and leaders, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief last week in the historic U.S. Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, which could determine the future of marriage laws in the United States.

In the brief, filed last Thursday, the Justices are asked to affirm the Sixth Circuit decision upholding marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, and to expressly affirm the First Amendment free speech rights of Christian ministers, teachers, and leaders who are compelled by faith and conscience to preach and speak aloud their millennia-old and sincerely held religious view that marriage is the sacred union of one man and one woman.

The friend-of-the-court brief states: "In reaching its decision, this Court should reaffirm that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects religious dissenters who disagree with state-recognized same-sex marriage and to reaffirm the importance of free debate and free inquiry in this democratic Republic."

Regarding the brief, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson noted how it became increasingly apparent in recent weeks that “the forces that insist upon changing the definition of marriage are willing to jettison our free speech and religious liberties to do so.”

“This brief is needed to warn the Court of this danger,” he stated.

“There is no way a constitutional right to homosexual, so-called, ‘marriage’ can be invented by the courts and enforced without using the police power of the state to impose cooperation by its citizens, and that is in violation of the 1st Amendment,” Dr. Johnson added. “For those who think sexual liberty trumps religious liberty, they need to be reminded that the free exercise of religion is explicitly framed into the Constitution. The same is not so for sexual rights, especially not a revolutionary redefinition of marriage."

In addition to NRB, the signatories of the brief are the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan's Purse, In Touch Ministries, Pathway to Victory, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Daniel L. Akin, Dr. Mark L. Bailey, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Dr. Byron R. Johnson, Eric Metaxas, Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr., Dr. Charles F. Stanley, John Stonestreet, and Dr. Owen Strachan.

To read the brief, click here.

By NRB Staff

Published: April 9, 2015

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