Liberties of All and Tax-Exempt Status of Non-Profits—Colleges, Adoption Agencies, Others—At Risk

Pennsylvania Pastors Network President,Sam Rohrer, recently spoke with KDKA Radio’s Mike Pintek about some of the pressing issues and pertinent ramifications of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage.

Rohrer, who is also President of the American Pastors Network (, said the Court’s recent 5-4 decision will eventually force churches and other religious organizations to either compromise their faith convictions or face the specter of losing their tax-exempt status.

“Everyone should be aware that there’s more than a moral consideration to this marriage ruling. Because the Court usurped and stepped over their Constitutional authority, vis-à-vis the matters of the 10th Amendment—the ability for states to make laws that are within their jurisdiction and to rule them all out of order—is a violation of civil law, the Constitutional law!” Rohrer said on the Pittsburgh radio program. “I would submit that every aspect of freedom as we know it, being the range of the First Amendment or the Second Amendment or any of the Amendments, have now been violated by the actions of this Court because they’ve made themselves the law over and above the Constitution. So, every aspect of what we consider civil freedom or religious freedom has been jeopardized by the action of this Court.”

Rohrer went on to say that those working to defend and protect religious liberty may look to the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment—but the First Amendment may protect religious freedoms only to a point. The Supreme Court essentially overruled the 10th Amendment by overriding the laws already set forth by the states and voters within those states. Therefore, Rohrer says, all other Amendments are open to attack as well.

“Do we not think, therefore, that any of the other Amendments are not equally jeopardized?” Rohrer told Pintek. “Just as Justices Thomas and Scalia indicated, there was no jurisdiction for the Court to rule; they had no power; they had no right. And yet they exercised their will in trying to make this kind of application when, in this case, it has nothing to do with any kind of historical precedent. And as Justice Scalia said, there is no precedent in the history of the Court to rule such kind of an action on this type of a matter, which, in the case of marriage, has been established, as (Justice) Roberts said, for millennia.”

Rohrer added that he would expect litigation against religious colleges that decline to provide housing for same-sex couples, faith-based adoption agencies that have policies against matching children with same-sex couples, and eventually, pastors and churches who will not perform or host same-sex weddings.

Additionally, even if litigation is not successful, the government could attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status for those organizations that do not comply with the new Court opinion, Rohrer added.

“All of these are absolutely legitimately predictable because of the nature of the ruling,” he said. “It will be a matter of ‘you cannot discriminate against, therefore, you must permit.’ This is how it will go; you can see it. The ramifications of this law are broad and deep. The fact of the matter is, the very people who think this is a win will find out that their own civil freedoms have been jeopardized by the actions of this Court. It’s just the nature of the ramifications of undoing law as we have had them in the Constitution. This is a big deal,” Rohrer concluded on the Pittsburgh and surrounding area radio program.

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