Recent advances for same-sex marriage have raised important issues concerning religious liberty. The four New England states (Con necticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) that recently recognized same-sex marriage have all had to consider how broadly to protect churches, organizations and individuals that object to participating in or facilitating such marriages. A national TV ad against gay marriage sounded alarms about religious liberty and triggered parodies from gay rights groups (and Stephen Colbert).
The issue of religious liberty should not be mocked. It is significant. It is also manageable. A state that decides to implement same-sex marriage can and should craft provisions that protect religious dissenters without erecting any substantial obstacles to gay couples marrying.