At this point, it appears the question isn’t whether same-sex marriage is going to be imposed on the nation by the courts—but how far the demand for acquiescence from the rest of us is going to be pushed. Will clergy who refuse to perform such marriages be punished? Will churches that lack ceremonies for such marriages be deprived of tax-free status.

“If past rulings are any guide, it is religious rights that are likely to be obliterated” when they run up against things like the California Supreme Courts utter assurance of the rightness of its rulings on same-sex marriage. Or so, at least, notes the American Jewish Congress’ Marc D. Stern in an op-ed today in the Los Angeles Times .

“Allowing same-sex couples to force religious individuals or organizations to act out of accord with their faith is not cost-free,” he adds. “Their dignity is no less affected. Unless claims rooted in equal protection under the law are to sweep away claims rooted in freedom of religion, a more sensitive balancing approach is essential.”

A worrying account and an essential read.