If you've been under a rock, you might not yet know that the state of California, following a court ruling, began allowing same sex marriages yesterday. This is a picture of Robin Tyler and Diane Olson who took advantage of their new rights yesterday and don't they look exactly like what a happy couple ought to look like? It almost makes me not dislike weddings. Unfortunately, the opponents of gay marriage, those blind, blithering idiots who think that allowing people like this who obviously love and are committed to each other to marry will hurt Marriage and religion and make the Baby Jesus cry and/or God smite us or whatever people like that use to justify their blind intolerance, are out in full force today decrying the end of the world of marriage as we know it. You know, that exclusive institution based on sacred ideals that heteros have shat on for thousands of years? Yeah, apparently, letting gay people do it means that hets will no longer have a monopoly on cheating on their spouses or something. Oh, didja know it's just a cover for the gay community to get the big, bad government to make religions accept gays because that's the only non-bigoted argument that they can make. Luckily, it's also one that's easy to refute.
The writer of the LA Times piece, Mark D. Stern, cites a number of legal cases in which no argument privileging gay rights over religious rights have actually, you know, won, but he's afraid they might and thus his freedom to discriminate in the name of his religion might be trumped by the freedom of gay people not to be discriminated against under the equal protection clause. In addition, according to Stern, freedom to practice one's discriminatory religion as one sees fit should also extend to the religion institution's right to benefit from government monies in providing services to a larger community while still engaging in practices determined to be against the equal protection clause. Thus, since a religious hospital benefiting from government largess might have to treat gay people for, like, cock ring accidents or whatever "those" people do, religious institutions will be forced to accept gay people into their congregations and perform gay ceremonies in violation of their constitutional right to discriminate as they see fit under their interpretation of religious texts and thus in one fell swoop the gays will have corrupted not only all of Marriage but all Religion and the end of the world will be at hand.
I was actually going to sit and debunk his arguments once I'd mocked them, but I basically think it's not really necessary. He can't come up with a single court decision that supports his claim that the right to freedom of religion is being eroded by the courts and the LGBT community's legitimate equal protection claims. He argues that some instances (also unsupported by documentation) of religion-sponsored organizations that provide non-religious services (with government support) to a larger community being told not to discriminate against the LGBT community is tantamount to forcing the Catholic church to perform gay weddings in violation of papal doctrine. His arguments are so specious on their face that I realized I don't have to debunk them. Anyone reading will just know that they are simply in service of his (let's be charitable and call it ) religious belief that homosexuality is bad and the government should do what it can to not allow "those" people equal protection under the law. Fuck that guy.
Will Gay Rights Trample Religious Freedom? [LA Times]