Republican Rep. Chris Gibson’s office on Friday released a carefully worded statement on his same-sex marriage position following his backing an amicus brief in support of striking down bans in several states.

In the statement, Gibson separated “the rights of religious groups” to recognize marriages versus equal protection.

He does not specifically say whether he supports full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, a matter that the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“Equal protection under the law and religious freedom are two of the most fundamental and critical principles enshrined in our founding documents,” said Congressman Gibson. “I have consistently advocated for equal protection under the law for those who seek to certify their unions in the face of the law. Furthermore, it is a matter of religious liberty that the rights of religious groups to perform and recognize these unions not be hampered by civil law. I believe that, in the end, the courts will settle this matter on the side of our Constitution’s religious freedoms and equal protection clauses.”

Gibson, along with several other hundred Republican office holders, former elected officials and operatives backed a friend-of-the-court brief that urged the Supreme Court to strike down the bans.

Gibson in 2014 said he supported civil unions for gay couples.

“I have said, always, that we should have civil unions for all,” he said during a public television debate. “Marriage should be left to religious institutions.”

He is due to retire at the end of the current term, in 2016, as he considers a statewide run for office.

Gibson is considered one of the more moderate to liberal Republicans in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.