With federal judges in two conservative states - Oklahoma and Utah - striking down "defense of marriage" laws as unconstitutional this January, religious liberty advocates are increasingly advising same-sex marriage opponents that the marriage battleground should shift to religious freedom.
"Too many folks see this as an all-or-nothing matter," says University of St. Thomas law professor Thomas Berg. "If religious liberty is tied to defeating same-sex marriage altogether, religious liberty is going to lose."
In other words: If you can't beat them, amend them.
Christianity Today recently asked a group of legal scholars on the forefront of advising lawmakers on religious exemptions to assess which of the 12 existing state SSM laws offer the best protections. Their general ranking is below. Illinois ranks second worst.
A comprehensive chart that includes states with judicial rulings and more legal nuances can be found HERE