Protecting Religious Liberty in Texas

the_village_weddingWe hope you have been reading the statements from the US bishops reaffirming their commitment to the Church’s teaching about marriage.  Civic leaders have been speaking out as well.  We are proud of our own Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, for his commitment to defend the religious liberty of all Texans and their belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.  Here is the statement he released after the Supreme Court handed down its decision to legalize so-called same-sex marriage:

The Supreme Court has abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter and has become an unelected nine-member legislature. Five Justices on the Supreme Court have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the States.

Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.

The Texas Constitution guarantees that ‘[n]o human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion.’ The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion; and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, combined with the newly enacted Pastor Protection Act, provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage.

As I have done in the past, I will continue to defend the religious liberties of all Texans—including those whose conscience dictates that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman. Later today, I will be issuing a directive to state agencies instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans’ religious liberties.

Pray for Gov. Abbott, and all civic leaders, that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit as they seek to protect and defend traditional marriage, the family, and religious liberty.

Prayer for the Governor and Civic Leaders

God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the Governor and other civic leaders of this great state.
May they always seek
the ways of righteousness, justice and mercy.
Grant that they may be enabled by your powerful protection
to lead their people with honesty and integrity.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.