Pastor Steve Hickey of Sioux Falls is not impressed with the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act today.
He’s not surprised, either.
Hickey, who also is a Republican representative for Sioux Falls, says the decision is a blow to religious freedom.
“I’m not surprised,” Hickey said. “We can see where this is going, but people need to think about the end game: Gay rights trump religious rights.”
Hickey is concerned that those who are morally opposed to gay marriage will be labeled as bigots and forced to behave against their conscience. He’s worried that he and other pastors will be forced to perform gay marriages at some point in the future.
He’s even a bit concerned about pastors being jailed for preaching against homosexuality. Something along the lines of this.
He says he won’t perform same sex marriages, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides.
“They can put me in jail for that if they want,” Hickey said.
He said it’s too early to say how the ruling will change things in Pierre, but that he’s certain the debate on how to interpret the ruling will continue. Two neighboring states recognize same sex marriages - Iowa and Minnesota - and residents of those states do move here from time to time.
How agencies in South Dakota handle marriages recognized as legal in other states could get tricky, he said. South Dakota does not recognize same sex marriage.
"In the legislature, everything is going to get muddier," Hickey said.