As the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito took the occasion to blast the original court decision Obergefell v. Hodges that led to Davis's situation.
After that decision granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, Davis refused to give same-sex couples marriage licenses, saying that doing so would violate her religious conscience.
Though Thomas and Alito agreed with the Supreme Court's denial of Davis's case, they specified that was only due to the fact that it would not allow them the opportunity to deal with the "important questions about the scope" of the Obergefell decision.
"This petition provides a stark reminder of the consequences of Obergefell," Thomas wrote. "By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the court has created a problem that only it can fix. Until then, Obergefell will continue to have 'ruinous consequences for religious liberty.'"
Thomas said he believes the Obergefell decision marginalizes those who have sincere religious objections to same-sex marriage.
"Obergefell enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots," Thomas said, "making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss. In other words, Obergefell was read to suggest that being a public official with traditional Christian values was legally tantamount to invidious discrimination toward homosexuals."
Both Thomas and Alito expressed their view that a constitutional right to same-sex marriage is "found nowhere" in the Constitution, providing an indication how they would likely vote if a challenge to the landmark Obergefell ruling came before the court in the future.