Gov. Brownback Issues Executive Order Protecting Religious Freedom

danjoseph | July 8, 2015

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) has issued an executive order that aims to protect  the religious freedom of Kansas clergy and religious organizations.

Executive Order 15-05, “Preservation and Protection of Religious Freedom,” act would prohibit  state government from taking action against any "individual clergy or religious leader,” or any “religious organization” that "chooses not to participate in a marriage that is inconsistent with its sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman."

The order comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states and amidst concern that the federal government will target churches and religious organizations that refuse to participate in gay marriage ceremonies and potentially take away the tax exempt status of those organizations

Upon issuing the order, Governor Brownback made the following statement:

"We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision. We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected.

“The Kansas Bill of Rights affirms the right to worship according to ‘dictates of conscience’ and further protects against any infringement of that right. Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs.

The executive order also directly criticizes the Supreme Court's decision saying "....the recent imposition of same sex marriage by the United States Supreme Court poses potential infringements on the civil right of religious liberty."