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A major domestic issue in the United States today is the battle between gay rights and religious liberty. It is an issue often framed as a zero-sum battle where one side must lose and be faced with a tragic choice. Thus far, it has only been religious individuals who believe marriage is only supposed to be between men and women, and who act on this belief who have been made to make this choice. Religious believers connected to the wedding industry who refuse to facilitate gay weddings have been faced with the tragic choice of either abandoning their faith or being subjected to draconian legal penalties. This is a 180 degree change from a generation ago when homosexuals who were subjected to the same thing. This paper explores how the rights of both parties can be protected by exploring various U.S. Supreme Court cases and the meaning of the First, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

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This document was originally published in Journal of Religion & Society by Rabbi Meyer and Dorothy Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: