Same sex marriage vs. religious freedom

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 6, 2011

The same-sex “marriage” debate is not about equal rights for homosexuals, it’s about an anti-religion crusade designed to eventually treat believers in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions as pariahs, their beliefs not respected and certainly not allowed in polite society. It’s a point I’ve been making for years.

In the wake of New York’s passage of a law allowing same-sex marriage, lawyer Tom Messner makes the same point—despite the measure’s so-called protections of religious belief, this is really targeted at believers.

Same-sex marriage does not simply include more people in the definition of civil marriage; it labels the natural understanding of marriage as a form of irrational prejudice, ignorance, bigotry, and even hatred. In other words, same-sex-marriage laws teach the public that people who view marriage in the natural way are morally equivalent to racists.

Once this idea is embedded in the law, there will be enormous pressure to take it to its logical conclusion by marginalizing and penalizing people who continue to think marriage is one man and one woman. Some of this pressure will come from state sources and some will come from private sources, but in both cases it will find ways through whatever cracks might exist in protections for religious and moral conscience.

You’ve been warned—repeatedly.

One comment on “Same sex marriage vs. religious freedom”

  1. Is marriage a civil institution or a religious one? I am married and I had to undergo both a civil contract and a sacrament. The sacrament I invited a lot of friends and family to. The civil contract, not so much. In my mind, my marriage started the moment it was blessed by a priest. In the mind of the governments of my residence (local, state, federal) it began once a contract was signed. I do not recognize that contract as anything other than public notification. The church ceremony however is where my marriage began and is sacred to me.

    Gay marriage is not an assault on Christians, Muslims, Jews, or any other religion. The problem lies with a government that decided to intrude upon the religious lives of people with a civil requirement that allowed for easy taxation, dispute resolution, etc.

    Gays winning the right to enter into civil contracts with each other in a similar fashion to a man and a woman has nothing to do with religion. A man and a woman entering the same civil contract also has nothing to do with religion. The problem lies in the government using the same term for that civil contract that the church/synagogue/temple uses.

    If marriage is truly a religious ceremony, then gays should not be allowed to get married in the institutions that forbid homosexuality. However, if this is true, then it is also true that every atheist coupling is null and void regardless of the genders of the participants.

    If marriage is a civil contract, then who cares if it is with man/woman or any intermixing of those two genders? It is a civil contract and for the government to recognize.

    I really hate to sound like Bill Clinton here (and I mean REALLY HATE) but, it all depends on what your definition of marriage is. Is marriage a civil contract recognized by government or is it a religious ceremony recognized by a religious institution? It can't be both. And Christians, Jews, Muslims, Jedis, etc. need to realize that. Unfortunately, our current system of government relies on traditional Christian beliefs for far more than civil contracts identifying a man and woman as being partners. It relies on those same religious values to define a lot of existing laws. How I lead my life is more about who I am as a Christian than who I am as a citizen. Fortunately for me, none of my citizen requirements are at odds with my Christian beliefs. Recognizing a gay couple as being a couple? I have absolutely no issues with this. Let them live lives of love. Let them have the ability to care for each other. Let them have the ability to go to the government to determine property should the union end. I am not forced in any way to change my belief system because of theirs. And it does not demean my sacrament in ANY way. It can't demean my civil contract because that contract has very little meaning to me to begin with and wasn't part of my marriage.

    Want to solve the "problem" of gay marriage? Stop calling the civil contract marriage. Call ALL civil contracts, regardless of the genders that participate civil unions. Leave marriage for religious institutions.

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The pattern among critics of the DeVos regs that powerful political leaders (Biden, Cuomo, now Stringer) deserve the due process that these same figures seek to deny to random college students remains something to behold.

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