Emory Law Journal


State recognition of same-sex marriage has presented significant new challenges to the law of religious freedom under the First Amendment. For example, all states license religious officials to solemnize civil marriage, a ceremony required for a valid marriage in all states. Could a state that has recognized same-sex marriage require its licensed religious officials to administer their licenses in such a way as not to discriminate against same-sex couples? Or would such a law violate the free exercise rights of that licensed religious official? Or, conversely, is the very practice of state licensing of religious officials to solemnize and enact civil marriage an impermissible establishment of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause?