It’s always confusing when courts issue opinions that seem to reflect some unsettling effort to find a middle ground when the opinion is about our very lives. But, like it or not, that’s what Kennedy and the justices who voted with him gave us. That is what we have to work with—not what we hoped for and not the legal buzz saw that we might have encountered … The tactic of pushing for so-called religious exemptions is the tool of the backlash. Opponents of queer rights have been using that tool to undo the progress that we have made, particularly in the arena of marriage equality … We need to push back by understanding how the appeal to religious exemptions works and why it is often so misleadingly seductive … We have to educate ourselves and our communities about religious exemptions because they are a tool that will come back over and over again. And, given recent and continuing appointments of federal judges, that is not good news.