Those issues surfaced in the various briefs filed in the Supreme Court, some of which are written as if the court must inevitably choose one religious point of view as the winner and the other as the loser. This is a false choice. The Court can make all winners, or at least avoid allowing one side to suppress the other's deepest beliefs.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not been asked -- nor could it possibly answer -- the question of what God or the Bible thinks about same-sex marriage. Religious groups are divided on that question, some supporting and others opposing same-sex marriage. And even if the religious viewpoint were clear, it should play no direct role in deciding whether the Constitution requires the states or the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage. Our government should not act to further one or another religious view of contested moral issues.

Neither the court nor government may referee religious disputes. Under the Constitution, religious groups are free to urge and put into practice their different visions of the good, of moral life, and compete for adherents in the marketplace of ideas. Winners and losers are determined by the "votes" of individuals and congregations, of believers and nonbelievers, not by government bodies.