Conservatives are losing their minds over last week’s double whammy they received from the US Supreme Court on Obamacare and same-sex marriage and are trying to find ways to defy the rulings. While there is little they can do about the Obamacare decision except vow to repeal it whenever they get the opportunity to do so after some future election success, they have more options with same-sex marriage.
The fact that same-sex marriages are legal means that they have to be granted the same rights as opposite–sex marriages and thus employers have to give them the same benefits such as health care. You can expect religious opponents to fight these requirements. Some issuers of marriage licenses have decided to not issue them to anyone in order to avoid doing so to same-sex couples. But this is not a feasible long-term strategy since it inconveniences opposite-sex couples as well.
What is more likely is that opponents are going to try and carve out an exemption that allows registrars of marriages to deny them only to same-sex couples using the same loophole as was granted for contraceptives in the Hobby Lobby case where they were successful in getting the US Supreme Court to create an exemption to the law that requires health insurance policies to provide women with certain contraceptive services. The ruling said that certain kinds of entities, even some for-profit private companies, can use the religious beliefs of its owners to deny those services to employees.
That exemption was provided by RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) and it looks like same-sex marriage opponents are going to try and repeat it not only with registrars but with religious organizations and private companies owned by religious people. The Texas attorney general is already urging county clerks that they can do so on this basis.
Expect to see another round of court cases along these lines. This poses a tactical question. Do you immediately challenge such practices legally and risk the Supreme Court upholding it? Or do you wait and see how widespread this kind of denial is and see if the effort simplies dies of its own accord?