Can Pastors and Churches Be Forced to Perform Same-Sex Marriages?
Both have significant protection under the First Amendment and other provisions of law from being forced to perform same-sex marriages while churches are slightly more vulnerable than pastors in some areas. Also following Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 1 where the Court held that states must issue licenses for same-sex marriages and recognize such licenses released by other states, there is absolutely no significant danger that pastors and churches could be compelled by a court to solemnize, host, or execute a marriage ceremony that is same-sex. Obergefell is just binding on states, and failed to decide any liberty that is religious — for pastors or someone else. While spiritual freedom challenges are required to happen moving forward, they will certainly be directed at other religious entities and people first, as legal defenses for pastors and churches are very good. Here are situations along with other conditions of legislation explaining usually the protections offered to pastors and churches.
First Amendment — Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses (Ministerial exclusion)
The Supreme Court has held that the capability of churches and spiritual businesses to employ and fire ministers while they desire is protected beneath the “ministerial exclusion” as needed by the complimentary Workout and Establishment Clauses of this First Amendment. 2 This exception pertains to a slim subset of employers and workers (likely only churches or straight affiliated organizations, and just for employees of these companies that are closely from the spiritual objective), and forbids almost any government or judicial disturbance with hiring/firing decisions for anyone to who it is applicable.
First Amendment — Free Workout and Establishment Clauses (Church Autonomy Doctrine)