Religious-protection issues on gay marriage pose legal quandary for states

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  • Antonia Vernon, NJ
    Jan. 19, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    We have stopped providing music for weddings because of the gay marriage issue. We have a harpist in the family who could earn $400-800 per wedding and is being asked constantly to play for weddings. She's in college, but probably will return to live with us because she won't be able to afford to live on her own, unless she lands a job with an orchestra. (Very difficult to come by.) The gay marriage rights movement has crippled her future career already bec. she doesn't believe in gay marriage. She's taking a big gamble, still majoring in harp. No more wedding harp career for her. We wonder what she will do.

  • Anonymous
    May 31, 2009 6:48 p.m.

    Full faith and credit. Constitutional principle. Constitution is important when you like it, but when you don't, you ignore it.

  • Sister Maudlin Masscara
    May 30, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    If we had seperation of Church and State like we are supposed to, then the government would provide Civil Union Certificates instead of Marrage Certificates. As far as I am concerned, this is a question of equal protection under the law.

    I'm already married to my partner we just don't have the same protections under the law as hetrosexuals.

    I pray you let my comments through to your site.

  • Sutton
    May 29, 2009 3:00 p.m.

    LDS4gaymarriage, Thats brilliant!!!

  • LDS4gaymarriage
    May 29, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    jcap - Gay people already have the rights to marry. There is absolutely NO law in any of the states that prohibits marriage to gay people. They are welcome and free to marry anyone of the opposite sex, so they have the exact same rights as everyone else.

    LDS - Sure...and Christians cane publically worship in Saudi Arabia....as long as it's done in a mosque. They have the exact same rights as everyone else.

  • jcap
    May 29, 2009 9:04 a.m.

    Gay people already have the rights to marry. There is absolutely NO law in any of the states that prohibits marriage to gay people. They are welcome and free to marry anyone of the opposite sex, so they have the exact same rights as everyone else.

  • Baiardi
    May 28, 2009 11:31 a.m.

    If same sex marriage becomes legal, then perhaps there could be a Ghandi-like civil disobedience. Think of thousands of people choosing to go to jail rather than obey unjust "anti-discrimination" laws forcing them to photograph, cater, etc. to same "legal" sex marriages that they believe are morally wrong.

  • Correction
    May 28, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    To Quit it!

    "Quit bringing up the First Amendment if you don't understand it. "Establishment of Religion" refers to a STATE RUN church."

    It also refers to a CHURCH RUN State! - Those with religious authority must not serve in political offices in such a way as to make the political office an extension of the religious authority.

    This is the same corruption we see when Popes and Church Priests appoint Kings to rule and, therefore, only appoint political rulers who support and sustain their own religion.

    This kind of corruption establishes a particular religion as the basis of political power, just as King Henry VIII having his parliament - filled with religious functionaries - name him the head of the Church in England.

    The political powers of government must not "establish" any particular religion. "Establishment" can occur BOTH WAYS: by the political power exercising religions authority, OR by religious authority exercising political power!

    It is and has always been a two-way street, not the ONE-WAY influence you claim.

  • Joe
    May 28, 2009 10:44 a.m.


    My church teaches me to love everyone. I have homosexual family members whom I love and admire very much. I also have alcoholics, druggies (one attempted suicide), overeaters, smokers, angry persons, etc. I dont feel these genetically predisposed behaviors are ideal,some are illegal. Because I love, I would never marry anyone to any of these addictions, or to any religion. Marriage legally forces one to stay in a union. Generally, my people (a hated minority) feel homosexuals, children, and polygamists, should have the right to walk away. This isnt hatred. Its a point of view, which may differ from yours. Saying no to drug addictions or homosexual behaviour doesn't make me reponsible for their high suicide rates. In twin-studies, many homosexuals had genetically identical siblings who chose freedom. All should have this moral right. Even if someone is attracted to drugs, its still unconstitutional to force the religious to validate abuse. Homosexuals are free to work, teach, hold office, protest, etc, (but why are they busy hating on Mormons instead of vandalizing hospitals for visitation rights and etc., but whatever), it's still wrong to force businesses, my children etc. to legalize.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 9:47 a.m.

    " The primary problem is that the government interfered with a church event/polygamy and took over marriage to control such and we are still paying the price. "
    LDS - Government needs to be involved in marriage for several reasons - spouses are exempt from testifying against a spouse. Governemnt needs to identify who that is. Other issues like child support, alimony, inheritance, visitation, etc..all need to be enforced by government.

    "Ironically, gay marriage will lead us back to polygamy, the primary reason for governmental interference initially. If two legal consenting adults regardless of gender, why not three or more... I can already hear the cries: oh my civil rights are being violated."
    LDS - What's so wrong w/ polygamy coming back? The Church has been very diligent in trying to separate itself from the image of polygamy. This would make that harder. individual Civil rights are more important than some private group's PR campaign.

  • Quit it!
    May 28, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    Quit bringing up the First Amendment if you don't understand it. "Establishment of Religion" refers to a STATE RUN church. We currently do not have those, but forcing state laws on churches will effectively create and control churches and you will then validly have a reason to balk, but by then it will be too late. The fox is already in the hen house and you are too busy worshiping at the altar of Obama to notice. No, I am not Mormon but Agnostic.

    The best solution would be to require all consenting legal adults to have civil unions followed by a religious union/matrimony for those that desire such. The primary problem is that the government interfered with a church event/polygamy and took over marriage to control such and we are still paying the price. Ironically, gay marriage will lead us back to polygamy, the primary reason for governmental interference initially. If two legal consenting adults regardless of gender, why not three or more... I can already hear the cries: oh my civil rights are being violated.

  • Mark Higginson
    May 28, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    My thoughts:

    It's an all true irony that some American people, specifically some law writers and lobbyists, are seeking to extend our freedom in ways that actually decrease it. Those who are for gay marriage often turn the issue around to say that those against it are taking away their freedom, when in fact supporters of gay marriage are attempting to subject everyone else into compliance with their one-sided opinion. As of now, people may choose to be gay and I may choose to not support it. If certain laws are passed, people may choose to be gay, but I would be forced to offer support that I would not be choosing of my own free will to give, as would Clergy, statesmen, and a whole slew of other authorities.

    Lets hope the American people think wisely when it comes time to vote. There are things I do not want to see America go through, but let's just say I won't entertain a false hope to avoid the moral, economical, political, spiritual, and physical wars that will continue to worsen before resolution. Make a stand!

  • civil war idea
    May 28, 2009 7:21 a.m.

    If it does come to that, it would be a pretty short war as we all know who has the guns.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 5:53 a.m.

    If the law were to force a person to perform/participate in gay marriages when that person believes gay marriage is evil and against God, it would be the very same as asking a tree hugger to cut down a beautiful and very old tree in the Redwood Forest. It would be forcing an athiest to participate in certain religious rites that they strongly disagreed with. We need to live and let live, people. It's one thing to peaceably allow others to make their own choices and quite another to be forced to participate!! There definitely needs to be laws allowing for religeous rights!!!

  • RE: Prejudice vs. Freedom of Ch
    May 27, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    This is why freedom is so scary for many,

    TO be truly Free, you must allow predjudice,

    YOu are Free to do you want,

    they are Free to do what they want,

    this state or that community is FREE to make laws they want,


    as long as they are not,for example, sacrificng your children,,

    you are free to live in a state and community you want, it IS a choice.

    (REMEMBER the constitution say what the federal government can or cannot do)


    IF one state wishes to have gay marriage,

    and another chooses to define marriarage traditionally,

    that is okay,

    THAT IS FREEDOM,

    if one business wish cater to certian peoples, and another business wishes not to, and another caters to all,

    that their choice,

    AND THAT IS FREEDOM,

    And IT IS FREEDOM when you can move about and go live where the values, the laws, the culture, reflect yours,

    and you allow others, states, or their communities to reflect the values and laws and culture they want,

    but when you get the FREDERAL government involved they will take away freedom,

    and force all to live by rules created by those who are currently in charge.



  • Skippy
    May 27, 2009 5:55 p.m.

    We all have our freedom to choose, but we can't change the consequences of our choices or actions.

  • To Prejudice,,,
    May 27, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    When did you choose to be heterosexual?

    I did not choose to be gay but I am. Even the LDS church has not said it is a choice.

  • Prejudice vs. Freedom of Choice
    May 27, 2009 5:36 p.m.

    The truth is, you have to allow people freedom of choice while eschewing prejudice. This means, treating all human beings "equally" outside of their lifestyle preference, but at the same time being able to stand up for your believes when it comes to those very lifestyles you are against. Being black isn't a lifestyle preference, being gay is. You wouldn't think of not serving a person in a restaurant because he is black. Why would someone not serve a gay couple in a restaurant? It seems to me that someone eating at an establishment should be treated like every other Joe off the street. Then again, what about catering to a gay reception? Catering seems to be "helping" the lifestyle.

    I think you can be against the lifestyle without being prejudice. Being prejudice means treating someone different for things they can't change. Color of skin, nationality, age, who their parents were, even sexual orientation, etc. Fighting against a lifestyle is not prejudice, it says that you believe the choices made are wrong. However, we need to be careful not to become prejudice when we fight against lifestyles. Decisions must be based on the choices not the person.

  • To Debbie:
    May 27, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    "People should not be forced to serve anyone in any capacity."

    I choose not to serve LDS people at my business.

  • DanOLGB
    May 27, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    The Constitution already protects religions from having to perform marriages they don't agree with. That's why the LDS Church can restrict who has access to the temples and even their own ward houses.

    The Catholic Charities issue had NOTHING to do with gay marriage. Adoption, is a civil function that they were licensed by the State to do. There were discrimination clauses that said all families should be considered equally.

    When it's you having your rights taken away, when you're turned away from a business licensed by the State, then come talk to me.

    Laws like Prop 8 are an affront to the freedom of religion because they are restricting religions such as the Unitarians (many of our founding fathers were members) from performing marriage rites for same gender couples. That is unconstitutional.

    Yes, when you restrict a minority group from having the same privileges you have just because you think it's against your religion, that is bigotry.

    We should be encouraging all people to be creating loving stable families. That's what's best for society.

  • Debbie
    May 27, 2009 5:12 p.m.

    The can of worms this opens hasn't begun to show. If we don't protect marriage, this is just the beginning of utter chaos and loss of freedoms by the religious and conservative. Give them whatever other rights they think they are being deprived of - make healthcare universal; not employment-dependent. Let significant others be allowed as visitors and "next of kin" or whatever else they feel is not fair. You don't have to alter the basics of marriage to accommodate other benefits.

    People should not be forced to serve anyone in any capacity. Doctors who don't believe in performing abortions should not be forced to do so, yet laws are being created to make this mandatory. We should still be able to live our lives the way we choose. People should be able to refuse service when doing so violates their morals. Churches need to be protected in cases like this and should not be ruled by the government when laws are changed that are in direct opposition to their very foundation. The Constitution is supposed to protect us from those "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" [of religion].

  • Michaelitos
    May 27, 2009 4:52 p.m.

    Re: What if 2:18pm
    Actually, the what if's are coming true already, and as it turns out, we were right to fear.

    Examples of heterosexual couples losing previously protected rights:
    1-In the case Parker v. Hurley (514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir.2008)), the Courts agreed that under the guise of diversity, any attempt to prohibit instruction of grade-schoolers about gay marriage or to permit parents to opt their children out of it must be stopped.
    2-Public accommodation laws are already being used as leverage in an attempt to force religious organizations to allow marriage celebrations or receptions in religious facilities that are otherwise open to the public.
    3-Catholic Charities in Boston have stopped offering adoption services because the State has determined that their religious beliefs cannot trump the redefinition of marriage, and therefore they cannot discriminate in providing adoptions for gay couples.

    And so the list goes on from university accreditation organizations to Canada's C-250 bill, which criminalized public statements against homosexuality (punishable by up to 2 years!).

    It is the gay marriage proponents who are trying to take away my rights!

  • An Observer
    May 27, 2009 4:20 p.m.

    It appears extend true freedom to others is a very difficult and scary thing,

    to allow others to think believe, worship, practice their religion, to have freedom of conscience,, to live their lives and run their businesses according to dictates of their conscience,

    but would prefer to use the government to FORCE others to accommodate them,

    TO have freedom and allow others that same freedom is a very difficult and scary thing indeed.

  • What if - 1 step further
    May 27, 2009 4:04 p.m.

    OK, suppose we say it is all right to not serve someone due to that persons beliefs etc.

    What if the reason the person who is refused service is because they are LDS. Still OK?

  • Don't tell me us you R a liberal
    May 27, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    Re: What if...?

    "Gay baiting and fear mongering is bringing in millions of dollars from the right, so get used to these types of apocalyptic "what if" messages. No matter how divorced from reality they really are."

    Give it a rest already. Real liberals see right through you. This isn't a left or right issue and any real liberal would be outraged at the behavior of those who support same-sex marriage. Thomas Jefferson who is the founding father of the Democratic Party would be up in arms about such conduct. Patrick Henry would be giving a speech saying "Give us liberty or give us death." A real liberal doesn't care if they agree with someone to defend their rights.

    Those who claim that the civil rights of gays being violated have no understanding of the Constitution or our system of government. They ignore the most fundamental of all principles. That the will of the majority must be submitted to even when in the wrong because a will independent of the majority is a far greater evil.

    A real liberal would also know the history of the courts anti-progressive decisions. So come down from your high horse

  • When will you stop being pompous
    May 27, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    Re: What if...

    "How come so many people condemning gay marriages have to use fear based, hypothetical, future tense, what if, slippery slope arguments?"

    Why do you need to resort to simple minded arguments that have no basis in facts? That don't consider the real concerns of both LIBERALS and CONSERVATIVES and explain to us why the hell the state should promote the moral and religious beliefs of the proponents of same-sex marriage.

    "They cherry pick a few cases where the laws have been challenged and make them sound like its an everyday occurrence. They're not."

    I have yet to read anyone who has said that these examples are everyday occurrences instead they are pointing out that these things are happening, have happened and are likely to follow the same pattern as taken in other countries where religious people have been prosecuted for exercising their freedom of speech and openly condemning homosexuality. Those countries have Constitutions that protect freedom of speech and religion and are modeled after the U.S. Constitution so the concern that it can happen in a country modeled after ours than it can happen in our country is a valid concern.

  • You are right find different doc
    May 27, 2009 2:58 p.m.

    To: Re: What about docs...?

    You might a valid point. There are a limitless supply of pharmacists and doctors and doctors and pharmacists shouldn't be compelled to perform any action with which they disagree or to treat patients who they don't agree with.

    Hospitals and doctors have a right to refuse service as long as they aren't an emergency room provider who is refusing access to an emergency room.

    A doctor who sees a hypochondriac can refuse service and so can any other doctor. He doesn't have to waste his time on a patient who is crazy and instead can refuse service and refer them to a psychologist if they wish to see one but he doesn't have to continue to see them when there are other patients who are on a waiting list to see him but can't because he can't accept new patients because he has reached the maximum number of patients that he deems appropriate to see considering his limited resources.

    Anyone who suggests a doctor/pharmacist needs to treat a patient or fill a prescription are stupid. That is a violation of their fundamental human rights.

  • What if, What if, What if.....
    May 27, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    How come so many people condemning gay marriages have to use fear based, hypothetical, future tense, what if, slippery slope arguments?

    They cherry pick a few cases where the laws have been challenged and make them sound like its an everyday occurrence. They're not.

    I would be all for a religious exemption clause if it guaranteed access to civil unions and legal protections for same sex couples, but we all know that type of reasonable real world consensus is not the goal of the conservatives fueling the debate (the same irrational hysteria is being drummed up around medical provider conscience rules).

    Gay baiting and fear mongering is bringing in millions of dollars from the right, so get used to these types of apocalyptic "what if" messages. No matter how divorced from reality they really are.

  • Re: What about docs...?
    May 27, 2009 2:10 p.m.

    Then you should find a new doctor or pharmacy, because there are literally hundreds of thousands of them available, and there are plenty to choose from that will agree with who you are and what medical needs you have.

    Do you honestly think that somebody is going to give you the best possible care after you have gone out of your way to personally and professionally destroy them, and after the courts force them to care for you against their will? Wouldn't it make much more sense to go to somebody who voluntarily cares for you to the best of their abilities because they agree with your point of view?

  • XYZ
    May 27, 2009 1:27 p.m.

    Seems to me that marriage was something that happened before there was such a thing as "Government, Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc. etc. etc.. It was a very religious ceremony, has been and should remain such and if a given religion doesn't believe that those who are perverted in their sexual behavior should receive the blessing of the Church, that should be protected. We protect our children from drug sellers, porn predators, we should also protect them from those who cannot reproduce and must recruit, else why the demands for teaching in the schools that this is an acceptable behavior. How many wander into this life style for the thrill of it?

  • What about docs and pharmacies?
    May 27, 2009 1:23 p.m.

    What if your doc will not treat you or your pharmacy will not fill your prescription because they do not agree with who you are or what medical need you have?

  • techno
    May 27, 2009 1:09 p.m.

    The issue is simple to fix. Make all unions civil unions with all of them having the same rights as the other. Then if you want to get married, go to your religious preference and get married. No one loses. Everyone gets what they want.
    Also, people tend to forget, that everywhere the GLBT rights are not being taken away. Everyone in every state has the right to get married and enjoy those benefits. Just to a member of the opposite sex.

  • Miss California
    May 27, 2009 1:06 p.m.

    Tell Miss California that the gay community does not want to create religious martyrs over the gay marriage issue. Hilton's question to her at the Miss USA pageant was designed to force her to approve his agenda and when she didn't he did his best to run her into the ground.

  • Me and Der
    May 27, 2009 12:56 p.m.

    Sorry to remind everyone that the terms have been messed up.
    Sexual Orientation ignores the source of the decision.
    In truth, it is Sexual Whim and nothing more.
    And whim is very different than being born to race or gender.

    For all who wish to throw a tantrum over this, please show the proof.
    The discussions are endless without establishing that initial premise.

  • What is marriage?
    May 27, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    Marriage existed prior to the state and is an inalienable right so says the Supreme Court in Meister v Moore 96 U.S. 76, 1877. All marriage statutes are "merely directory" or optional. What we have today, mostly, are mere civil unions, created by statute, with the state as a superior party of interest. These state granted "marriages" are legally and morally at odds with the true and everlasting marriage covenant and ceremony. God is not and cannot be a party in the marriage since the state is the superior party of interest. Yet a marriage license is required before the LDS Church will perform a temple marriage, even though a marriage license is legally optional (see Meister v Moore above). If you want to read more google original intent, click on education, and read the article on common law marriage.

  • Suing every person
    May 27, 2009 12:26 p.m.

    Suing every person? The problem is that people don't conduct their personal affairs the way they use to... they go the state and ask permission to be a corporation. Corporations are subject to "public policy" law including the LDS Church's IRS approved 501(c)(3)corporations. Don't do a mother may I with the corporate strings attached and then complain about the strings. You knew they were there and you wanted to corporate benefits.

  • Sarah Nichole
    May 27, 2009 11:30 a.m.

    Whatever happened to "we reserve the right to refuse service?" That used to be standard for all businesses, small and large, on whatever grounds they deem necessary. I agree with the Civil Rights Act, and with other laws, which make it wrong to refuse services based on skin color or physical/mental handicap, but something that goes against somebody's religious beliefs should be a no brainer.

    Those taxi cab drivers in, I believe, Chicago, who refused to carry passengers that were holding bottles of alcohol should absolutely have the right to refuse service. I was appalled they were forced to either suck it up and do it or quit. Sueing a photographer for not taking pictures of a gay wedding when they believe it's morally wrong is not right. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of professional photographers in any given city to choose from. There are multiple places to go to adopt children. There are multiple places to go to have your wedding ceremony. There are multiple places to go to get your wedding dress, or to find a caterer, or to give you artificial insemination. Stop sueing every person that disagrees with you.

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    I don't see a problem. The government never forced racial equality on the Mormon Church when they recriminated against blacks.

    I think temple marriage are kind of creepy but my option as no legal status.

    When we pass gay marriage in California Mormons will still have the right to bigotry in their churches. I really have no problem with this. I've stayed away fifty years. I can stay out of LDS Churches until I die.

  • Roland Kayser
    May 27, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    Courts have ruled that relgious organizations can discriminate in their hiring practices, requiring employees to conform to certain religious practices. There is already preccedent, it would not be ruled unconstitutional to provide religious exemptions in gay marriage law.

  • Instereo
    May 27, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    Is marriage a civil or a religious ceremony? Is it the church or the state that recognizes marriage? Is it the church or the state that grants individuals the right to marry? Where do people get the permission (Licence) to marry, from the church or the state?

    Answering these questions is where the problems become apparent. It seems all of the authority for marriage rests with the state. It also seems that the meaning, justification, or good feelings that come with marriage are more religious in nature and have nothing to do with the state.

    This is why I think it's so interesting the debate about marriage. The state is the authority and religion give it meaning yet it seems the religious community think they have the authority and if gays are allowed to marry it takes away their authority. Just look at Polygamy, which marriage does the state recognize. The one sanctioned by the state or the spiritual marriage? The state doesn't recognize the polygamist spiritual marriage hense the church has no authority over marriage. So it really does boil down to civil rights. Let all people marry if they want too.

  • Don't confuse with liberalism
    May 27, 2009 10:43 a.m.

    To: Re: Cosmo and a civil war

    There is little doubt that this is coming to a head but please don't confuse this with a liberal versus conservative view since real liberals are extremely upset with those who support same-sex marriage. They may have infiltrated the Democratic Party but they aren't liberals. Far from it. Real liberals would never have sought to have the California Supreme Court overturn the will of the people.

    Thomas Jefferson who was the founding father of the Democratic Party would role over in his grave and liberals such as Patrick Henry would shout out in outrage that such idiocy could be called tolerance or fighting for civil rights since gay marriage activists aren't fighting for civil rights. They are seeking to impose their own moral and religious beliefs on all of America by having the state sanction their beliefs which would effectively deny those who don't share their views the opportunity to marry unless the conform to that view or at least acquiesce to being part of it.

    Real liberals are extremely upset when we see bigoted tyrants like those in California advocating for same-sex marriage.

  • Real Common Sense
    May 27, 2009 10:27 a.m.

    It's amazing to me that so many people are against gays marrying, but these same people call gays "promiscuous." Has it ever occurred to you that allowing gays to marry would help solidify relationships and take away some of the promiscuity you believe exists?!? It seems to me that anything that would support a monogamous relationship is GOOD.

  • Sutton
    May 27, 2009 10:18 a.m.

    Youre bigotry and intolerance is your own... stop blaming God.

  • Ernest T. Bass
    May 27, 2009 10:09 a.m.

    People need to have unfettered rights to marry whomever they please.

    Be it gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, animals, polygamists, bigamists, triad marriages, or whatever form they want.

    This is America for crying out loud. We have the right to pursue our dreams according to the dictates of our own consciences.

  • re:separate them
    May 27, 2009 10:09 a.m.

    Take away the power to marry from the state...separation from Church and State is the cry I always hear. Since marriage is religious based,and a religious tenent, let the churches decide who they will marry.

    The Governor has this right, religion must be protected, Freedom of Religion is the fundamental right of the constitution,you cannot force a church to do something that is against their belief system.

  • Re: Cosmo and a civil war
    May 27, 2009 9:59 a.m.

    I won't predict five years necessarily, but it took about ten years--the 1850's--for the nation's last great moral debate--slavery--to boil over once the heat was on high. Did Prop 8 mark the stoking of this fire? Seems like it.

    We are at a crossroads. The conservative view has made many concessions along this path so far, but marriage is where most will balk, and won't go any further.

    The question of slavery was about being rid of a great evil. The question before us now concerns the redefinition of marriage, which is about being rid of a great good. The whole nation suffered in that first civil war, but especially those who clung to the evil of slavery. They had wealth and power on their side, but not numbers. They had might, but not right.

    We will all suffer in the coming confrontation. Those who advocate redefining marriage have wealth and power on their side. Marriage preservationists have the numbers. Both are convinced they have right. When the suffering is over, it should be pretty clear to all where it actually is.

  • Separate them
    May 27, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    Legal Marriage and Religious Marriage need to be completely separated. All people who what to get married, gay or straight, would have a civil servant grant them the legal rights. Then if they want, they can have a religious ceremony. Take away the power to legally marry from the priests/bishops, etc.

  • Cosmo
    May 27, 2009 9:11 a.m.

    I fear we will be immersed in civil war within five years. Homosexual marriage, will be the fuse that sets it off!

  • They still have to serve
    May 27, 2009 9:00 a.m.

    Tekakaromatagi,

    "What about conscientous objectors who don't believe in fighting in the army."

    Actually, there's no provision that allows those who are conscientious objectors to allow them not to serve in the military. They must still do so but the exception is made that they don't have to fight but they still must serve. Any law that would allow them to not serve would be unconstitutional on its face. The militia is any adult male between the ages of 17 and 45 regardless of religious opinion.

    Congress has the constitutional authority to govern and regulate the militia. As such it has authority to decide who will and won't fight but Congress does not have the authority to exempt a person solely on religious grounds because it would violate the 1st amendment.

    "Provisions are made for them. Why can't that be made for people with cultural or relgious objections to gay marriage?"

    Actually, provisions aren't made for conscientious objectors. They must serve in the militia regardless of their religious opinions. Once the unorganized militia is organized or a member of it enters the organized militia Congress can decide if they are shooters or cooks.

  • Chachi
    May 27, 2009 8:56 a.m.

    Another problem with enumerating the ways in which gay marriage cannot interfere with religious rights is that any situation or religious right you fail to mention will be considered unprotected.

  • rusby
    May 27, 2009 8:49 a.m.

    I may be wrong, but I thought that the Smith decision about the payote usage was the most recent supreme court decision on religious freedom.

    If I remember correctly, if the state has a substantial state interest and doesn't focus the laws solely on one particular group, then they are constitutionally allowed to pass the law.

    If the government feels that they have a compelling state interest to assure that their citizens don't face discrimination in any way, and feel that religious ceremonies cause people to feel discriminated against, then the government can target those religious ceremonies.

    I may be wrong but I was under the impression that this is how it currently works.


  • Where are we headed?
    May 27, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    Gay marriage, you have got to be kidding. What next? Let me tell you what is next, monogamy goes away, pre-marital sex becomes more fashionable than it already is, pornography in all its forms becomes normal, degeneracy becomes acceptable which includes pedophilia and adultery, then our society falls into chaos and declines dramatically similar to the perverts of the late 4th century Rome. People, we must stand together and fight for clean and correct morality in all its forms. Otherwise, we will be forced to raise our families amoungst eextreme evil. This is simple right and wrong. Stop the madness and those who are doing nothing more than justifying their own sick behavior.

  • Tekakaromatagi
    May 27, 2009 8:12 a.m.

    What about conscientous objectors who don't believe in fighting in the army.

    Provisions are made for them. Why can't that be made for people with cultural or relgious objections to gay marriage?

    Or is that 80% of the people who come from cultures that define marriage as being between a man and a woman would object? There would be so many the law would be overwhelmed?

    Tekakaromatagi

  • It would be unconstitutional
    May 27, 2009 8:00 a.m.

    Compromise,

    "I am not a lawyer but this article might be a good compromise to settle this issue,at least for many. Protect religious organizatons from being sued by gay activists for refusing to preform gay marriages, etc, while allowing gays to "get married" elsewhere. Can such a law be written and constitutionaly stand?"

    Such a law couldn't stand since it would be like a law that made an exception for religious people who believe God wanted blacks to be separate from white people and therefore can discriminate when offering public accommodation or services.

    The problem with the reasoning behind making an exception is that such exceptions can't be made. Government doesn't have the authority to make laws "respecting an establishment of religion" or "prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    They can't say "well since you are religious and want to discriminate go ahead." The law must be uniform. The problem here is if gay marriage is legal than religious people must provide those services to gays if they offer them at all.

    The only way they can get around doing so is that the law doesn't allow gay marriage.

  • Dr. W
    May 27, 2009 7:54 a.m.

    Marriage is simply an obsolete administrative convenience for governments, and individual contracts are much more useful and do not need to be changed when one moves from state to state in the U.S. However, in the interest of full civil rights for EVERYONE, we favor gay marriage because we want to see WHICH of two partners of the same gender get to lose a great many legal and civil rights (depending on the individual state -- and only a COUPLE of states have Equal Rights Amendments.)

  • Born that Way
    May 27, 2009 7:54 a.m.

    private enterprise deserves protections, so that businesses and organizations can run as they want... most large corporations already have "domestic partnership" benefits and make no distinction in whom they serve. This is good for their businesses. If someone wishes to withhold services from the one group in the country with the largest amount of disposable income, it should be their right to do so. We should not be a nation that forces anyone to slave for another, and where one business may be missing others will rise up and fill that void. One major problem here is that the gay community has for too long depended solely upon bully lawyers to beat people into submission with lawsuits.

    By putting in sweeping provisions to prevent lawsuits, lawmakers are only being realistic to prevent the sort of expenses WILL happen due to the avarice in the most privileged group of supposed victims in this country.

  • You mean like this?
    May 27, 2009 7:38 a.m.

    rightascension,

    "I find it hard to imagine photographers, florists, caterers, bakers, wedding planners and musicians who will let religious objections to gay couples' marrying if there is money to be made from such weddings."

    You mean like Elaine Huguenin of New Mexico and owner of Elane Photography who refused to provide two lesbians with services for their commitment ceremony on grounds that it violated her religious beliefs and who found herself being sued for it and having the New Mexico Human Rights Commission rule against her and ordering her to pay $6,637 to the couple and stated that she violated the law for refusing to provide services.

    People do refuse to put their religious values ahead of their financial interest. There are many who will not work on Sunday regardless of its negative impact on their careers. While I am not a religious person people have the right to express themselves and to abide by their own religious and moral convictions.

  • Author wrong
    May 27, 2009 7:16 a.m.

    The writer at least ought to get the facts straight. Massachusetts did not "order" the Catholic Adoption agency to place children with same-sex couples. In fact, the adoption services already had placed a few children with same-sex couples. The problem arose when a Boston Globe reporter publicized the gay adoption. Catholic authorities then ordered the adoption services to stop same-sex placement. Fearing legal issues in halting same-sex adoption they decided to withdraw from adoption services. Note: Catholic Adoption services receives Federal/State money, serving as a State agency. (LDS adoption services receives no federal/state money and they offer only voluntary adoptions.)

  • Common Sense? Unlikely
    May 27, 2009 6:58 a.m.

    So they`ll all be gone in one generation? Did it ever occur to you that gay people are the result of straight sex? They will never be all gone. Do a little thinking before you come off as a first class rube.

  • don't be upside-down
    May 27, 2009 6:49 a.m.

    thus we see that for the gay advocates in the NH legislature it's as much or more about forcing the gay lifestyle on others as it is about gay rights.

  • So racist pastors can refuse too
    May 27, 2009 6:26 a.m.

    "Opponents of same-sex marriage have frequently said it threatens to penalize members of the clergy who refuse to solemnize such unions or who preach against them. Legal experts almost unanimously dismiss such alarms. Refusals to officiate or to mute a religious doctrine, they say, are solidly protected by the First Amendment."

    Where do they get this idea? The First Amendment says "Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

    It doesn't say that Congress can't pass a law that impacts Churches or religious persons nor does it guarantee religious conscience. For example, laws against polygamy impact religious institutions that believe in polygamy.

    Religious persons don't have a right to refuse their public accommodation based on race, gender or sexual orientation. A Pastor who refuses to marry a black couple on religious grounds could be sued for doing so since he provides a public service. Churches that are open to the public which deny access to blacks can be sued for doing so.

    Religion isn't a free pass. If gay marriage is legal then anyone who provides marriage services must provide it to gays like blacks.

  • They need to read Constitution
    May 27, 2009 6:15 a.m.

    "For some time, scholars have debated this issue, and some are now urging states considering same-sex marriage laws to include strong protections for religious organizations. Some are even suggesting protections for individuals and small businesses who offer services for weddings like photographers, florists, caterers, bakers, wedding planners and musicians. The argument is that these individuals and businesses might have religious objections to gay couples' marrying and could be exposed to sizable fines or strong penalties under nondiscrimination statutes."

    You can't do that. You can't make an exception based on religion and say that religious person who aren't okay with being involved in gay marriage can choose not to serve gays if gays are allowed to marry any more than you can say that religious people who are opposed to homosexuality can deny services to gays who wish to purchase food at a public restaurant as long as it's a CIVIL RIGHT to eat in a public place.

    The only thing allowing religious people to deny gays marriage services is because gay marriage is not legal. Remove that and they MUST provide those services because failure to do so would violate the constitution and law

  • If a civil right then churches
    May 27, 2009 6:10 a.m.

    You can't assert that same-sex marriage is a civil right and assert that accommodations be made for a private business who doesn't wish to provide a gay couple with services related to their marriage. It it the premise of the civil rights acts that those who are providing public accommodations can't deny accommodations to persons based on characteristics protected by the 14th amendment.

    If marriage is a civil right than it follows that a business involved in providing services to married couples can't discriminate based on orientation if their religious opinions prevent them from doing so. The only way that a Church or private business can claim they don't wish to take part in a gay marriage is if marriage isn't a civil right.

    If gays are allowed to marry and a Church or private business provide marriage services than they CAN'T discriminate based on sexual orientation. It would be a violation of the law and the Constitution. This is one reason gay marriage can't be legalized unless we repeal the 14th amendment or the 1st amendment because freedom of religion conflicts with the 14th amendment if gay marriage's legal

  • common sense
    May 27, 2009 12:56 a.m.

    Let's give all the homosexuals their own island. They can have their gay marriage but they have to have all their children naturally no artifical insemination. Common Sense says they can have all the rights they want but in one generation they are all gone. Where are little childrens rights if they are raised and taught to believe something wrong to be right. It is our responsibility to teach children right from wrong. There is nothing right about having sex with the same gender. There is nothing natural about it and it benefits society in absolutely no positive way. If you want to make wrong choices in private keep it private. Common sense what has happened to it? If we get enough people doing the same thing wrong we get to call it right. Still is wrong.

  • Compromise
    May 27, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    I am not a lawyer but this article might be a good compromise to settle this issue,at least for many. Protect religious organizatons from being sued by gay activists for refusing to preform gay marriages, etc, while allowing gays to "get married" elsewhere. Can such a law be written and constitutionaly stand?

  • rightascension
    May 27, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    I find it hard to imagine photographers, florists, caterers, bakers, wedding planners and musicians who will let religious objections to gay couples' marrying if there is money to be made from such weddings.