Foes of same-sex marriage are warning the Supreme Court that lifting state or federal restrictions would threaten their own economic and religious freedoms and lead to social and political upheaval. In about three dozen briefs filed over the past week, groups ranging from Catholic bishops and evangelicals to state attorneys general and university professors argue that upholding gay marriage could lead to penalties against objecting employers, military officials and others. Briefs from supporters of gay marriage are due by early March. "If the Constitution were construed to require government affirmation of same-sex relationships as marriage, it would seem a short step to requiring such affirmation as a condition of receiving government contracts, participating in public programs or being eligible for tax exemption," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says. "Those who disagree with the government's moral assessment of such relationships would find themselves increasingly marginalized and denied equal participation in American public life and benefits."
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