President Obama says he respects religious liberty, but it cannot be used to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who are entitled to them.
“We affirm that we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions,” Obama said at a Democratic National Committee LGBT gala Sunday in New York City.
“But,” he added, “we also have to say clearly that our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.”
Obama appeared to reference the case of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue gay marriage licenses, saying it violated her faith.
A federal judge had Davis jailed for several days because of her actions in defiance of the June decision by the Supreme Court sanctioning same-sex unions.
In his remarks Sunday to donors, Obama said gay marriage supporters should understand that the change “has been a whirlwind” for many Americans, and that there remains some “unease.” The president said, “it’s important for us to recognize that there are still parts of the country that are getting there, but it’s going to take some time.”
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