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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Gov. Abbott responds to Supreme Court ruling

Greg+Abbott
Photo by File photo
Greg Abbott

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in favor of same-sex marriage Friday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement expressing his displeasure with the ruling.

In the statement, which was released shortly after the results of the Supreme Court vote became known to the public, Abbott expressed concerns that the decision reflects a larger issue within the mindset of those serving on the bench.

“The Supreme Court has abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter and has become an unelected nine-member legislature,” the statement said. “Five Justices on the Supreme Court have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the States.”

Abbott also addressed the concerns of many that religious freedoms would be threatened as a result of the decision.

“Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected,” the statement said. “No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.”

Abbott cited recent legislation passed by Texas lawmakers, such as the Texas Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) and Pastor Protection Act in support of his assurances. RFRA grants citizens the right to challenge laws that they feel “substantially” hinder their religious practices, and also provides provisions that the law can’t be misused to violate any other citizen’s civil rights. The Pastor Protection Act reinforces the First Amendment rights of members of the clergy, giving them the right to decline performing ceremonies, such as weddings, that go against their respective doctrines.

Abbott affirmed in his statement that these laws will “provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage,” and said protecting the religious freedom of Texans will remain his top priority as the situation develops further.

“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,” the statement said.

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