Overstock Exec Launches Effort to Defend Religious Liberty

jjIn the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, Jonathan Johnson, Executive Vice Chairman of Overstock.com, grew worried.

While he liked the federalist arguments he heard, he worried about the equal protection arguments.

“At some point,” he remembers thinking, “equal protection and free exercise of religion are going to run into each other.”

This makes sense. What happens, for example, when a same sex couple comes to an Orthodox rabbi, asking to be married in a synagogue?

So Johnson and some friends hatched an idea for states to pass a constitutional amendment saying:

”A religious organization, religious association, religious society or any person acting in a role connected with such organization, association or society and shall not be required to solemnize, officiate in, or recognize any particular marriage or religious rite of marriage in violation of its constitutional right of conscience or its free exercise of religion.”

(The wording is still being fleshed out, but that’s basically what it will say.)


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