Obergefell v. Hodges

Legislative Research Council

House Bill 1107 is headed to the Senate side of the legislature. That's the bill designed to protect religious entities against losing government money or tax breaks because they discriminate against gay or transgender people. The bill passed the House on Monday, Feb. 8. Proponents say the bill protects religious freedom, but opponents say it is likely unconstitutional and will result in lawsuits against the state.

Photo courtesy of ACLU-SD

The House State Affairs committee has voted to approve a bill that ensures continued state funding and tax breaks for entities that discriminate against gay or transgender people. House Bill 1107 protects organizations or people who act on their religious belief that marriage is reserved for male and female partners and that biological gender is unchangeable.

Victoria Wicks

At the end of June, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case known, for short, as Obergefell. Some say that decision has changed the definition of marriage. But others say marriage is marriage, and the high court declared it a constitutional right for all citizens. Now states can’t discriminate—they have to offer the legal status to couples regardless of sexual orientation. But religious leaders and legal scholars agree that ministers, priests, rabbis, and other religious officiants will never be forced to bless these legal unions.