Warning that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision puts religious freedom “absolutely, unquestionably and unequivocally” at risk, former Southern Baptist Convention political official Richard Land said today that the decision could even land pastors in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages.
“Unless we have a spiritual awakening in America, the battle for traditional marriage is over and the battle for religious freedom has begun,” Land told Newsmax’s J.D. Hayworth.
“I know it’s difficult for liberals to understand this, but we have convictions,” he said. “And convictions can’t be coerced and they can’t be intimidated and they can’t be threatened. We’re going to speak the truth in love. Just because five lawyers say same-sex marriage is legal, that doesn’t make it moral and that doesn’t make it right.”
When Hayworth asked him if the Supreme Court’s decision means pastors could end up in jail for refusing to perform marriages for gay and lesbian couples, Land responded that “it could” after a few “intermediate steps.”
Of course, in the dozens of states that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry before last week’s decision, not one pastor has been thrown into jail for refusing to perform such a marriage, just as nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans, clergy are still free to refuse to perform such marriages. Even some of Land’s fellow Southern Baptist leaders have denied the possibility that pastors will be sent to jail for refusing to perform gay couple’s weddings.