Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he will continue to defend religious freedom after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage.
The US Supreme Court yesterday ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right – paving the way for weddings in all 50 states.
The Governor of Texas – the state that proposed the most anti-gay laws last year – said that the Court had “abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter and has become an unelected nine-member legislature”.
In a statement, he said: “Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.
“The Texas Constitution guarantees that ‘no human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion.’
“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion; and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, combined with the newly enacted Pastor Protection Act, provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage.
“As I have done in the past, I will continue to defend the religious liberties of all Texans—including those whose conscience dictates that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman. Later today, I will be issuing a directive to state agencies instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans’ religious liberties.”