At a Congressional hearing held last week, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen pledged that the tax-exempt status of religious colleges and universities that oppose marriage equality will not be affected by the Supreme Court's ruling striking down gay marriage bans in all 50 states.

Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah and an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights, asked Koskinen whether the IRS would “not, in the absence of a directive by Congress or by the courts,” take actions to strip religious schools of their tax exempt status.

“I can make that commitment,” Koskinen answered, adding that “we see no basis for changing our examination criteria as a result of this Supreme Court case.”

“If we ever did that, we would issue it for public comment. There would be no surprises. The public would have plenty of notice and plenty of opportunity to comment, and that's not going to happen in the next two and a half years.”

In a written statement issued after the hearing, Lee, who has introduced legislation that would prohibit the IRS from taking such actions, said that despite the commissioner's comments his bill was still needed.

“While I greatly appreciate Commissioner Koskinen's word that he will not target religious institutions for their religious beliefs, it worries me, and it should worry every American, that the IRS does not absolutely disavow the power to target religious institutions based on their religious beliefs, even if the current IRS commissioner has committed not to use that power for the time being,” he said.