Apr 11, 2009

Train Wreck a coming

In a New York Times article on Same-Sex Marriage, Peter Stenfels gives a rare balanced portrayal of the current social and legal landscape, including the big question: Is same-sex marriage on a collision course with religious liberty?

Pro-Same-Sex Marriage advocates like Cass Sunstein, a constitutional scholar at the University of Chicago Law School, have admitted that in a whole range of issues which, "pointed to conflicts that were 'real and serious.'" Chai R. Feldblum, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and [also] a proponent of same-sex marriage, agrees that permitting gay couples equal access to civil marriage will inevitably burden the religious liberty of those religiously opposed.

In a previous comments section I argued with JHG that since the Civil Right to same-sex marriage has been granted albeit on a limited basis, any Religious Conscience clause would of necessity have to be struck down by the Courts. What I call the redefinition of marriage into a Civil right for a group of people (LGBT) has simultaneously defined those of us who believe marriage to be between one man and one woman into racists, and no racist beliefs are allowed in this country.

Therefore Same-sex marriage as a Civil Right gives people "the right to work in areas where their presence might constitute a contradiction to your [religious or personal] teachings." These were JHG's words, and he actually agrees with me on this point, but I said the fact that he was on my side on this one is no consolation and would prevent nothing of this encroachment of the State into the Church.

If we had kept the legal debate to a debate of individual rights, we would have discussed individual rights; can a GLBT individual form a relationship with another individual and be granted rights such as hospital visitation, health proxy, inheritance, and other rights? But same-sex marriage has outlawed religious and personal beliefs that do not affirm the Naturalness and indeed the goodness of same-sex sex.

Many see that same-sex marriage will create conflicts with the religious liberty of institutions and individuals rejecting such marriages on religious grounds, though there is no agreement on how serious those conflicts are or how they might be resolved. But Marc D. Stern, whose many years handling religious freedom cases for the American Jewish Congress firmly believes that legal recognition of same-sex marriage will make clashes with religious liberty "inevitable." Stern sees a "train wreck" coming, one that can "be avoided only if advocates on both sides renounce what he called 'a winner take all' attitude."

No one seriously believes that a clergy will be forced to perform a GLBT marriage ceremony over his religious conscience objections, but Mr. Stern sees a multitude of conflicts for "schools, health care centers, social service agencies, summer camps, homeless shelters, nursing homes, orphanages, retreat houses, community centers, athletic programs and private businesses or services that operate by religious standards, like kosher caterers and marriage counselors." E.g. Boston Catholic Charities no longer provides any adoption services.

We shall see.

1 comment :

Renee said...


Through much of my childhood and my mother's experience working with the first victims of AIDs, I knew and knew of persons who were gay mostly in very benign situations such as a classmate or supervisor at work. Always understanding and sympathetic of situations, at the time I didn't disagree with sexual acts. It wasn't until later in life I realize certain acts distort the true meaning of sexuality, whether it be homosexual or homosexual.

I also do sympathize with gay relationships, and understand why they want some form of true affirmation, the real danger of same-sex marriage isn't form those who experience same-sex attraction themselves, but rather any individual no matter their orientation that are passionately anti-religious, they have the most to gain from this. Rather my fear comes from the secular progressive humanists, who would love to remove all aspects of procreation from heterosexual sex, and make "making babies" purely an outside function from sexual activities.