Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order today protecting clergy and churches from lawsuits over their refusal to participate in same-sex marriages.
“We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision,” Brownback said in a prepared statement. “We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected. The Kansas Bill of Rights affirms the right to worship according to ‘dictates of conscience’ and further protects against any infringement of that right. Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs.”
Kansas isn’t the only state to adopt protections for clergy after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage late last month. Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill passed by the legislature at the end of its session to shield pastors from lawsuits. Oklahoma enacted a similar measure May 1, and Tennessee legislators are considering one. And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued his own executive order providing protections to pastors after lawmakers in his state failed to pass a proposed bill. Shortly after the Supreme Court decision, Jindal issued another executuive order protecting and offering legal representation to any clerks who chose not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of religious objections.
Read more: http://www.worldmag.com/2015/07/kansas_governor_protects_pastors_from_lawsuits_over_gay_weddings