Religious Liberty and Same-Sex Marriage: Why We Need the VA Marriage Amendment

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Chuck Colson has a very good article titled Shifting Boundaries that examines the reality of the same-sex marriage debate. The issue is not, as we are often told, one that has no impact beyond affecting those seeking same-sex marriages (i.e. what same-sex marriage advocates imply when they ask how permitting two men to wed will “hurt” traditional marriages and families). One only has to look at Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage was established by judicial decree because they did not have a Marriage Protection Amendment in their state constitution protecting marriage… something Virginians will have the opportunity to add to our Bill of Rights this November) to see the real impact of same-sex marriage on our religious freedoms. Here are some key points from Colson’s article:

A few months ago, I told you about the agonizing choice facing Catholic Charities of Boston: Either serve the needy or remain faithful to Catholic teaching. Specifically, the only way it could continue to handle adoptions according to Massachusetts law was to include same-sex couples among its clientele…

…In March, Catholic Charities, citing a “dilemma we cannot resolve,” announced that it would no longer facilitate adoptions in Massachusetts. That “dilemma,” as writer Maggie Gallagher recently wrote in the Weekly Standard, grew out of the Massachusetts case legalizing same-sex “marriage”: that is, the Goodridge decision.

As Colson points out, the Goodridge decision found that “only animus against gay people” could explain different treatment for same-sex couples when compared to heterosexual couples. Forget biological facts, basically Goodridge said those opposed to the redefinition of marriage to no longer mean “one man and one woman” could only have hate as their reason. Never mind people (such as myself) believe the countless peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that children do best when they are not willfully denied a mother or a father, something same-sex couples can never provide, never mind that people have loving and faith informed beliefs that same-sex behavior is harmful (not only biologically with a marked increase in the probability STDs) but spiritually… no we’re just all a bunch of hate filled bigots, right? Anyways…

Thus, after Goodridge, discrimination against same-sex couples in matters of adoption also became illegal. As a state-licensed agency, Catholic Charities was now obliged to serve same-sex couples in a way that it was not before Goodridge.

What’s more, it did not matter if Catholic Charities “ceased receiving tax support and gave up its role as a state contractor.” After Goodridge, it still could not refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

So, millennia-old religious beliefs gave way to months-old, newly found “rights.” Massachusetts refused to consider even the “narrowest religious exemption.” One of the oldest adoption agencies was, therefore, forced to stop helping the people it had pledged to serve.

Absolutely ridiculous. As we can see same-sex marriage isn’t just about the No Fault Freedom of individuals- it has tremendous implications for all of society. Colson goes on to discuss how this will shift the debate of faith and government:

Instead of litigating over posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces, churches in the future will be trying to keep the state from encroaching on matters of faith and morals.

This will certainly become the case if sexual orientation comes to be seen as analogous to race, which is already the view among many elites, including some in the judiciary. If that happens, as looks likely, then all the force of law unleashed by racism charges will be brought to bear against the Church.

Schools, health-care providers—even Christian camps and, yes, maybe pastors in the pulpit—will be uncertain if they can do their jobs in a way that is both legal and consistent with their beliefs.

The best way to keep the Massachusetts dilemma from spreading is to keep the logic behind the Goodridge decision from spreading. The Marriage Protection Amendment, now pending before Congress, would not only protect traditional marriage, it would also protect the beliefs that underlie traditional marriage—beliefs that, as Gallagher has shown, may soon be treated as the equivalent of Jim Crowe.

You can find more information on the Massachusetts situation in Maggie Gallagher’s article titled Banned in Boston. And of course this threat to religious freedom isn’t limited to the North East, Ben Shapiro has an article titled The California homosexual activists' assault on schoolchildren discussing California Senate Bill 1437 and its goal of removing parents from the education process in regards to teaching about sexual orientation and rewriting history books with so that they discuss someone’s sexual tendencies rather than their historical achievements.

Now more than ever Virginians need to support the Marriage Amendment this fall. If you’d like to get more involved in this effort please email Steve Waters at the Family Foundation and volunteer to serve as an advocate in your community.

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