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Is support for traditional marriage 'hate speech'?

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6 2013 5:09 p.m. MDT

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the ranking Republican on the Senate subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights & Human Rights, asks questions of a panel of witnesses, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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In an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz on the Christian Broadcasting Network last month, David Brody raised the issue that support of traditional marriage is being labeled as hate speech: “A lot of Christian scholars, when they talk about the marriage issue, they see it as a religious-freedom issue ... as in essence going down this line toward potential ‘hate speech’ from the pulpit.”

Cruz responded to the statement by saying, “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road toward gay marriage, that’s the next step of where it gets enforced.” Cruz continued, “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach Biblical truths on marriage. That has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”

Ryan T. Anderson, in an article on National Review Online, analyzes this topic claiming, “Advocates of redefining marriage contend that the First Amendment ensures that pastors, priests, and other clergy in America will remain free to preach what they want to — they will never be forced to celebrate a same-sex wedding, and liberals suggest that this is the extent of the challenge to religious liberty posed by the redefinition of marriage.”

But Anderson doesn’t agree that pastors, priests and other clergy will maintain these freedoms, “If marriage is redefined, then a belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman ordered to procreation and family life — a notion once shared by virtually every human society — would increasingly be characterized as an irrational prejudice that ought to be driven to the margins of culture. The consequences for religious believers are becoming apparent.”

Anderson concludes that “policy should prohibit the government or anyone who receives taxpayers’ dollars from discriminating in employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting against those who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman.”

Matthew is a web producer for DeseretNews.com. Email: mhartvigsen@deseretdigital.com

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