WASHINGTON – A conservative law firm saw a 400 percent increase in calls requesting legal help since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.
At a panel event titled "Are You Ready for the Coming Legal Attack?" at the tenth annual Values Voters Summit on Saturday afternoon, Jeff Mateer, who served as the panel's moderator, of the Texas-based Liberty Institute explained that many religious organizations have contacted him and his colleagues with legal concerns centered around the possible fallout from the decision.
"At Liberty Institute we have seen our requests for legal help go up 400 percent just since the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision," said Mateer to those gathered.
"You can imagine the twelve lawyers who work with me, even our vast army of volunteer attorneys who work with us. We can't keep up with all those requests."
Before the high court's decision there were about 15 requests per week. After the decision, that weekly average rose to about 60 to 75 requests.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Mateer explained that he was surprised by the outpouring of concern following the decision, noting the strong turnout at a recent event where he spoke on religious liberty in light of the decision.
"We spoke at Dallas Theological, asked to be there. They do a quarterly meeting with pastors. They average thirty to forty," said Mateer.
"This time they had 266, and fifty on the wait list, and stopped putting people on the wait list; because pastors are concerned."
On June 26, the highest court in the land ruled 5-4 that state-level bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
Since the ruling, many have expressed concern that the Obergefell decision does not adequately protect those with religious objections to homosexuality.
Attorneys Ken Klukowski and Michael Berry, who were also on the panel, described some of their legal efforts, both the successes and some ongoing matters.
Issues the panel focused on included religious expression for those serving in the Armed Forces as well as monuments and other displays found on public property.
While some have entertained the idea that there is a "zero sum game" between religious liberty and gay marriage, Mateer told CP that he did not believe this to be so.
"What I believe is that there are ways that you could accommodate religious beliefs and if you hadn't had a Supreme Court national redefinition, this would have worked out through the state legislatures," said Mateer.
"We're hopeful now that state legislatures and the Congress will act quickly to give people of faith proper accommodations where there is such a clash."