The DOJ’s Marriage Benefits Expansion Is a Massive Threat to Religious Liberty

Did the DOJ consider religious liberty before allowing gay veterans to be buried with their spouses?

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Thursday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Department of Justice will ensure that all married gay couples will soon receive Social Security and veterans spousal benefits—no matter where they live. Previously, only gay couples in states that recognized same-sex marriage could legally access these benefits. Following the Supreme Court’s decision bringing same-sex marriage to every state, however, every married gay couple in America qualifies for federal spousal benefits.

This development marks yet another grave threat to religious liberty in America. The new measures will force myriad social security claims processors to violate their consciences regularly. Requiring government workers to process claims from same-sex couples is a gross violation of their faith. Under America’s tradition of liberty, no person should be forced to acknowledge the existence of a same-sex union. At a bare minimum, processors should be permitted to stop doing their jobs in order to avoid interacting with a gay couple’s paperwork, while continuing to receive a full tax-payer funded salary.

Even more alarming are the benefits gay veterans and their spouses will now receive—including pensions, VA home loans, survivor benefits, and disability compensation. Spouses of disabled gay veterans will even get access to a special health care program previously closed to them. Doctors and nurses will now be coerced to work with openly gay patients—just because they’re married to a disabled veteran. These aren’t equal rights; they’re special privileges. And medical professionals won’t even be permitted to follow their faith and politely decline to treat these homosexuals. The DOJ just gave the radical left a new weapon for punishing thoughtcrimes.

It gets worse. Veterans and their same-sex spouses now have a right to be buried together in a national cemetery. Before the Supreme Court’s lawless usurpation of power, voters were able to force gay veterans and their spouses to be buried apart. That’s how a healthy democracy functions. But because five lawyers decided to violate the will of the people, cemetery employees will be forced to place the bodies of gay married veterans in adjacent graves. The persecution is already here.

This “Bury My Spouse—Or Else!” attitude is typical of the secular left, which is eager to crush religious liberty at every turn. The DOJ’s new policies are just another anti-democratic, anti-Christian consequence of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision. We live in a dangerous age for the truly faithful when devout Americans cannot even work at a VA hospital or national cemetery without being forced to violate their freedom of conscience. We should weep for our country.

Want to hang out with Outward? If you’ll be in or near New York City on Monday, July 13, join June Thomas, J. Bryan Lowder, and Mark Joseph Stern—and special guests Ted Allen, of Queer Eye and Chopped fame, and marriage-equality campaigner extraordinaire Evan Wolfsonat an Outward LIVE show, hosted by City Winery. Details and tickets can be found here.