Fox News commentator Todd Starnes is claiming that if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage in June, "we could soon see pastors being brought up on hate crime charges for preaching from the Bible."
He made those specific remarks to Matthew Hagee yesterday, but he and other social conservatives have been making similar claims every time a state affirms the right of same-sex couples to legally marry.
As Kyle Mantyla pointed out, to date no pastor has been charged with a hate crime in any of the 37 states in which same-sex marriage is legal.
Starnes also claimed yesterday that many prominent religious leaders would refuse to "obey" a Supreme Court directive if it does, in fact, rule in favor of same-sex marriage. These leaders signed a Pledge in Solitary to Defend Marriage, which claims that the Supreme Court could hasten "the beginning of the end of Western Civilization."
One of the pledge's authors, James Dobson, told Starnes that "[t]he institution of marriage is fundamental and it must be defended. It’s the foundation for the entire culture. It’s been in existence for 5,000 years. If you weaken it or if you undermine it -- the entire superstructure can come down."
Liberty University's Matt Barber took a more conciliatory tone, arguing that a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage would merely delegitimize the Supreme Court as a constitutional body.
He referred to the potential ruling as "the Dred Scott of marriage" -- a reference to the 1857 decision that said blacks could not be American citizens and therefore could not file suit in U.S. federal courts -- claiming that if the justices "presume to redefine the institution of marriage, thereby destroying the institution of natural marriage, this Supreme Court will no longer be legitimate."
"There’s no constitutional rationale," he explained. "There’s no historical rationale. There’s no biological rationale. There simply is no rationale other than that they want it so very badly -- ‘they’ being homosexual activists and other cultural Marxists, leftists, people who are seeking to undermine the institution of natural marriage and ultimately God’s design for human sexuality."
Watch the segment below via Right Wing Watch.