I’ll spare you much commentary on this one, but it’s eye-opening in tone and content: an indignant, angry appeal to protest on the theory that legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota constitutes an attack on the freedom of religion.
“Now over 1.4 Million Minnesotans are considered the legal equivalent of “bigots” and have NO protection to live out their beliefs in the public square. The gay “marriage” law allows churches and SOME religious organizations to define marriage as only between 1 man and 1 woman. But, people of faith know that living out your beliefs means living what you believe OUTSIDE the walls of your church.
“Gay “marriage” supporters and their allies in the MN Legislature seem to think that Minnesotans with deeply held religious beliefs about Marriage will be content to believe that marriage is the union of 1 man and 1 woman in the walls of their church and then stay SILENT about those beliefs outside those walls. So, the MN Legislature passed the gay “marriage” bill with no protections for people outside the walls of their church. The MN Senate had the chance—and refused—to protect the religious liberty rights of Minnesotans outside their church walls….Now Minnesotans with the deeply held belief that marriage is the union of 1 man and 1 woman cannot act on this belief in the way they do their business or the way they practice their profession.
“The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has already confirmed our worst fears: There is NO religious liberty protection for people of faith in the public square. The Department states specifically that nonreligious organizations are NOT exempt from the law and that nondiscrimination laws can (and will) be used as a weapon to punish people of faith. For example, if a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim florist refused to provide flowers for a same-sex “wedding” based on his religious beliefs, the same-sex couple can “file a claim with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights against the entity that discriminated against them.”
“Bottom Line? The gay “marriage” lobby and their allies in the MN Legislature view Minnesotans of faith as “bigots” and will punish them accordingly using MN Human Rights laws—forcing men and women of faith to choose between their livelihood and their convictions.
“That is not acceptable.”
Wrong. Not only is it acceptable, it’s ethical, and absolutely necessary in a pluralistic, multi-faith community. When your religion interferes with my right to enjoy life and take part in it exactly as the rest of my fellow citizens, the freedom of religion has moved far, far beyond any Constitutional guarantees into an interference with the equally vital freedom of association and equal protection under the law.
It is easy to pick apart the logic of websites like this, but harder to counter their damage and the vile way they confuse the uneducated and civically ignorant, while representing clear discrimination and stigmatizing based on gender as noble and virtuous. Lester Maddux made the same argument in slightly different form in protesting the civil rights laws forcing him to serve blacks at his restaurant. He just didn’t slap religion on it.
A related personal note: My mother was Greek Orthodox, and many of her relatives were conservative Greek Orthodox, some of whom maintain that the children of “mixed marriages”—my Dad was an agnostic Methodist who observed whatever religious ceremonies and traditions that made my mother happy—were illegitimate in the eyes of the Lord, like the marriage itself. My sister and I learned this in church when we were 10 and 8, and I remember asking my father what it meant.
“It means nothing, son,” he said. “It means some fools will give you the cold shoulder, and that’s their right, but they have no right to try to stop you from doing anything outside their Church that you want to do, and if they try, they’ll be sorry they did.”
“I don’t think we’ll be going back to that church again,” he added.
The next Sunday, he took us to the circus.
Pointer: Jonathan Adler