Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why Religious Freedom Needs To Be Restored

After years of waiting, gays and lesbians have finally won the right to marry in all but 13 states.  For all those years, it was primarily religious objections that stood in the way of same-sex marriage.

One problem with allowing same sex marriages is that, in the minds of some of those married or soon-to-be married, they now believe they are a protected class of individuals.  So much so, they some believe that the new-found right to marriage trumps the constitutional right of freedom of religion.  Proof of this fact comes from two well-known cases in which a baker refused, for religious reasons, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding and a photographer refusing to take photos for another gay wedding; again, for religious reasons.  In both cases, the couples could have moved on to another vendor in respect and tolerance of those religious beliefs but, instead, they sought to promote boycotting those businesses and sought legal intervention.

So, this begs the question.  Why would any same-sex couple want to do business with a company that objects to their marriage for religious reasons?  Does any same-sex couple really think they are going to get the best service from someone who is being forced to serve them?  Most people would not do business with a vendor or contractor who they didn't feel completely comfortable with.  Especially, over something as important as a wedding. 

But, that's the point.  The forcing of businesses to set aside their religious beliefs is all about punishing religions for centuries of anti-gay beliefs and activism against same-sex marriage.  It is an attempt to undermine the freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Constitution.  This is why 21 states -- recognizing what is at stake here -- have enacted their own Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.  Understand that the operative word here is "Restoration".  Because, in each of these states, they can see that religious freedom is under assault and is being eroded by the political left and the supporters of widespread gay rights.  In theory, if not stopped, Churches, who are opposed to gay/lesbian relationships, may be legally forced under state-enacted anti-discrimination laws to preform same-sex marriages. 

Lastly, those opposed to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act claim that the law will cause widespread discrimination against gays.  That is completely false.  There have been tens of thousands of same-sex marriages in those 37 states that allow it.  I am sure any of those weddings needing professional photography, wedding cakes, bands, or catering contracted those services without incident.  That's because the bottom line for 99.9999% of businesses is their bottom line.  Simply, most could not afford to put their religious beliefs above their business needs.  While there might be some issues with Indiana law in terms of scope, those will be corrected and the law will stand and gay couples will continue to be served by the vast of majority of professional wedding service companies. 

References:

37 States with Legal Gay Marriage and 13 States with Same-Sex Marriage Bans: http://gaymarriage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004857

The New Mexico Supreme Court Applies Anti-Discrimination Law to Wedding Photographer Refusing to Photograph Same-Sex Commitment Ceremonies: https://verdict.justia.com/2013/09/04/new-mexico-supreme-court-anti-discrimination-law-to-wedding-photographer


Indiana Law: Sorting Fact From Fiction From Politics: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2015/04/01/395613897/sorting-fact-from-fiction-from-politics-on-the-indiana-law

2 comments:

Kevin Flanagan said...
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George B said...
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