Same-sex marriage is a controversial topic subject to great debate. The Supreme Court in 2015 federally recognized the legality of same-sex marriages in Obergefell v. Hodges. Despite this ruling, some people looked for any reason to denounce the holding. Perhaps none were more vocal than those who rejected same-sex marriage on the basis of their religious tenets. Miller v. Davis provided people who were morally opposed to same-sex marriage a platform to support their concerns grounded in a First Amendment right to freedom of religion. The question is how far does one’s freedom of religion extend? Does freedom of religion give one the right to deny to others their federally recognized rights? Many have sought to define the boundaries separating church and state; however, those boundaries remain malleable and oftentimes hard to enforce, presenting a challenge to those seeking to define them. This comment explores the bounds of freedom of religion and analyzes the rights and protections associated with marriage. Specifically, this comment suggests a balancing test for determining when a government official may exempt themselves from issuing marriage licenses based on their religious tenets. Broadly, the test determines when religious exemptions are appropriate.



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