There are many who believe Christians are just being paranoid regarding losing their religious freedoms because of the acceptance of gay unions. Many (such as myself) believe that since gay relationships are now being given the same preferential treatment as male and female marriages, then it only makes sense for many to begin believing that these “moral” unions are now being discriminated against!
Listed below are a few examples of what has transpired within this decade to many religious organizations and/or individuals where they were sued, forced or had ceased operations altogether to accommodate or avoid accommodating the newly defined “families.” Please take a look at the Catholic blog that I retrieved this information from: American Phoenix and the post titled: Fallout and Implications: Homosexual Marriage (Disclaimer: Although the information gathered from this page is useful, my views do not necessarily endorse all of Catholic theology.)
Regardless of what it is called, legal sanctioning of homosexual relationships creates a host of unintended consequences and constitutes a serious threat to religious liberty.
- Consider what happened in Massachusetts in 2004: Justices of the peace who refused to preside over same-sex unions due to moral or religious objections were summarily fired. Since same-sex unions were entitled to be treated the same as traditional marriages, this refusal was discrimination and a firing offense. What about a priest or minister who similarly refuses to preside at such ceremonies? Obviously the state can’t fire such people, but it is easy to foresee other sanctions — such as loss of tax benefits — being imposed on churches.
- Just last year, two women filed a complaint in New Jersey because they were denied use of a pavilion for their civil union ceremony. The pavilion was owned by a Methodist ministry. It had been rented out for marriages, but the ministry refused to rent it for civil unions because it is a religious structure, and civil unions are not recognized in the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline. Due to the ministry’s refusal to rent it for the lesbian ceremony, New Jersey revoked its tax-free status.
- The Des Moines Human Rights Commission found the local Young Men’s Christian association in violation of public accommodation laws because it refused to extend “family membership” privileges to a lesbian couple that had entered a civil union in Vermont. Accordingly, the city forced the YMCA to recognize gay and lesbian unions as “families” for membership purposes, or lose over $100,000 in government support.
- Perhaps the most notorious example of a state forcing its view on a church agency comes from Massachusetts, where Boston Catholic Charities ran an adoption agency that had been placing children with families for over 100 years. In 2006, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley announced that the agency would abandon its founding mission rather than submit to a state law requiring it to place children with homosexual couples. (A Vatican document from 2003 described gay adoptions as ”gravely immoral.”
Even here in San Diego, after the legalization of same-sex marriages, the San Diego County Clerk Gregory Smith allowed clerks who had strong moral objections to same-sex marriages to remove themselves from processing the marriages.
That didn’t sit to well with San Francisco’s Mayor Newsome. He responded by saying:
“If you don’t want to provide a marriage certificate and you’ve got a job that does that, then you should think twice about why you got the job in the first place and maybe you should get a new job. Talk about a slippery slope, Mr. County Clerk down in San Diego.” –San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, in a Reuters interview.
The San Diego employees were later reassigned other duties as no employee was allowed to perform only heterosexual marriages. (See LA Times: Clerk reassigns workers who object to gay marriage)
Times are changing as a result of gay marriages. Paranoia? Not in the least bit as Christians are not free to continue life as is – in many areas of their lives. And the list will continue to grow as gay marriages are made more acceptable.
Attention Californians: Vote YES on Proposition 8 to keep marriages between one man and one woman! (More info click image on top of blog)
© 2008, Carlotta Morrow. All rights reserved.