Religious freedom battle heats up amid SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling

Huntsville
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Supreme Court may have handed down a decision on same-sex marriage in the United States, but a new battle is now heating up, religious freedom.

"The fundamental principle here is the government shall make no law infringing upon one's right to worship or to one's right to freedom of religion," said Huntsville attorney George Flowers.

County clerks and probate judges around the country and some here in Alabama are choosing to defy the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage and not issue marriage licenses.

"Saying they are not going to follow federal law because they believe federal law is in violation of their personal held religious beliefs," said Flowers.

Flowers says in this case, the First Amendment will protect churches and clergy members, but he's doubtful it will cover public officials.

"There is nothing in the Supreme Court decision that compels anyone under the First Amendment to do anything.  There are rabbis, there are many people in the religious community that refuse to marry people.  The distinction comes in though when we're talking about a government official carrying out a government duty," said Flowers.

For counties and clerks not issuing marriage licenses, Flowers says the next step could be orders from the Supreme Court ordering them to do so.

Read more coverage of this issue on WHNT.com.