The Supreme Court Tuesday considered whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, raising questions about how it would affect religious institutions. During oral arguments, Justice Samuel Alito compared the case to that of Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian university in South Carolina. The Supreme Court ruled in 1983 the school was not entitled to a tax-exempt status if it barred interracial marriage. Here is an exchange between Alito and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., arguing for the same-sex couples on behalf of the Obama administration.  Justice Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating.

So would the same apply to a 10 university or a college if it opposed same­-sex marriage? General Verrilli: You know, ­­I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is­­ it is going to be an issue. Bob Jones received national attention when then-presidential candidate George W. Bush visited in 2000, prompting the school to drop its ban on interracial dating. The case has been a cause for concern among religious institutions that hold that marriage is between a man and a woman. Justice Antonin Scalia asked attorney Mary L. Bonauto, who is representing gay couples in the case, whether it is it conceivable that a minister could decline to marry two men if indeed the Supreme Court holds that they have a constitutional right to marry. MORE