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A Conflict? Religious liberty vs. same sex marriage

A Conflict? Religious liberty vs. same sex marriage

Marianne T. Duddy-Burke, the Executive Director of DignityUSA asks the question: “Is there really a conflict between religious liberty and same sex marriage?”

Religious Liberty vs. Same Sex Marriage: Is There Really A Conflict?


In The Huffington Post

As the campaign to legalize same-sex civil marriage gains momentum across the country, opponents are employing new tactics to defend the status quo. Chief among those is the claim that legalizing same-sex marriage will infringe on the religious freedom of those who oppose the practice on theological grounds.

As a both a devout Catholic and a supporter of marriage equality, I would like to believe that the rights of my more conservative co-religionists and my lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender friends can be reconciled through careful legislative draftsmanship. However, the bishops of my church and their allies have demonstrated no interest in reconciliation. Rather, they have taken an uncompromising stand based on principles that they readily ignore at other times, and blurred the distinction between freedom and entitlement in troubling ways.

To be taken seriously, appeals to religious freedom must be rooted in consistent teaching and practice. The arguments advanced by opponents of marriage equality do not meet this standard.The Catholic Church, for instance, recognizes only marriages conducted under its own auspices. It does not recognize marriage after divorce, unless the partner seeking to remarry has obtained an annulment. By Catholic standards, then, most of the marriages in this country are null and void.

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John B. Chilton

I agree there's fear-mongering going on. It's made easier because there are examples that can be pointed like pharmacists being compelled to sell the morning after pill.

Let's be clear that it's separation of church and state that undercuts the argument that they are going to be compelled to do gay marriages.

Perhaps it's viewed as a credible threat because they don't believe in church and state.

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Peggy Blanchard +

There are any number of practices that are legal in this country but are frowned on or outright forbidden by various religious groups. As a clergy person, I can state with certainty that I am not -required- to perform -any- marriages, and that if I have reason to believe any persons coming to me for marriage present any of a number of various hindrances to a valid or honest marriage, I am -not- to perform that marriage. That limitation has been in place for a very long time, and I have seen nothing that leads me to think it will be abolished by legalizing same-sex marriage. If anyone thinks same-sex marriage is wrong, don't officiate at those marriages. Personally, I think legal marriage between consenting adults is a constitutional right, and I look forward to the opportunity to officiate for any and all legally qualified sincere Christian couples.

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Richard E. Helmer

Wondering out loud: Is there any religious tradition in this country where clerics are obligated to preside over any marriage at all?

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Gregory Orloff

Some religious groups in the United States refuse to marry the baptized to those who are not baptized.

Some religious groups in the United States refuse to marry their members to those they consider heterodox.

Some religious groups in the United States refuse to marry divorcees.

Some religious groups in the United States have done so for generations, yet the government never swooped in and infringed on their religious liberty by forcing them to do otherwise, and they never balked in a pique of melodramatic moral panic that the government might do so and thus infringe upon their "religious liberty."

So why would it be any different with legalized same-sex *civil* (ahem, not *religious,* but nonetheless recognized by the government and by law) marriage, then?

The "religious right's" [sic, on both accounts] "religious liberty" scare tactic on this issue is a rather disingenuous straw man and red herring, all rolled into one.

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