Walker To Wisconsin: I Won’t ‘Coerce You To Act Against Your Religious Beliefs’

AP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Friday in an emailed statement that the Supreme Court made a “grave mistake” in it’s decision to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states.

Walker, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said the Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges left the American people with only one alternative.

“I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake,” Walker said. “As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.”

Below is Walker’s full statement:

I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.’ In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas. As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.

Recognizing that our Founders made our Constitution difficult to amend, I am reminded that it was first amended to protect our ‘First Freedom’ – the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment does not simply protect a narrow ‘right to worship,’ but provides broad protection to individuals and institutions to worship and act in accordance with their religious beliefs. In fact, the Wisconsin constitution explicitly protects the rights of conscience of our citizens. I can assure all Wisconsinites concerned about the impact of today’s decision that your conscience rights will be protected, and the government will not coerce you to act against your religious beliefs.

I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience. We will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at ahiza@talkingpointsmemo.com.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK