As we continue to work for equal rights for same-sex couples — and more states make equal marriage available — here are some facts to combat fictions in wide circulation about what marriage equality really looks like in the states where it's in effect.
MYTH #1: Churches will be forced to perform same-sex marriages, even if they don’t want to.
FACT: No church will ever have to perform any marriage it disapproves of. That’s protected in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and will never change.
MYTH #2: County clerks can pick and choose which marriages they officiate.
FACT: Unlike religious leaders, county clerks are civic officials who are required to administer the law without discriminating. A civil marriage isn’t a religious ceremony — it’s a legal contract. County clerks need to perform their official government duties.
MYTH #3: This is bad for marriage.
FACT: This is great for marriage! When two people love each other and want to make a lifelong commitment to care for and be responsible for each other, they should be able to get married. Will marriage equality for same-sex couples, marriage will be stronger, not weaker. Stopping some people from getting married doesn’t help anyone’s marriage — it only hurts those who are discriminated against and their families.
As the fight for marriage equality continues, no doubt we’ll see more misrepresentations and half-truths from anti-gay organizations. We’ll be working with our allies to be sure the truth is told.