Monday, February 23, 2009

Compromise on Religious Liberty and Same Sex Marriage

Maggie Gallagher has an insightful post over at The Corner.
The New York Times published an op-ed by David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, proposing a Big New Idea: Federal recognition of state-level civil unions and same-sex marriage but if and only if those states offer substantive religious-liberty protection — and the federal government offers substantive religious-liberty protection, too.

(Readers may not know: David Blankenhorn has previously endorsed the idea of civil unions in his book The Future of Marriage.)

It's a generous essay that acknowledges the serious impact same-sex marriage (and civil unions, too) can have on religious people and institutions who cannot accept same-sex unions as marriages. If this marriage debate were really about providing practical legal benefits to same-sex couples, it might represent a real breakthrough.

I don't think that's the debate we are in, sadly. From where I stand, it looks like the progressive/democrat position states: If you believe marriage means a husband and wife, you are not just wrong, you are downright wicked and deserve to have your home address put up on the internet so strangers can harass you. I think the pro-marriage side is going to have to demonstrate an ongoing capacity to organize far more effectively before the gay-marriage juggernaut is going to be looking for a way to compromise.

I am inclined to agree with Maggie's bottom line: no civil union compromise is stable, because the gay lobby views all "compromises" not as stable outcomes where each party gives up something in exchange for social peace. Rather, the gay lobby views each concession by their opponents merely as stepping stones to their ultimate objective of same sex marriage.
As Maggie said: If it were easy, it would have happened by now.


Anonymous said...

Much like the many many false pro-Prop 8 ads, what you are saying is just not true. You cannot identify a single way in which "religious liberty" is threatened by same-sex marriage.

The misleading ads implied that becuase gay marriage was legal in Massachussetts were forced to teach about it over parents' objections. Did you actually read the legal opinion in that case? The reasoning had nothing to do with the Mass Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.

All the other cases had to do with discrimination against people for being gay, and again, had nothing to do with same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is about legal benefits and social equality. It's not about telling you (or anyone else) what to believe. You're entitled to your own beliefs. You're even entitled to believe they come from your belief in the Bible, even though they do not.

People should exercise their religious liberty by focusing on themselves and how quickly they will find solace in deceit in order to advance their cause. "Thou shalt not bear false witness..."

Chairm said...

The No side denies but the case of Catholic Charities and adoption proves them wrong in Massachusetts.

And, as the pro-gay briefs in the cited court case in Massachusetts has amply demonstrated, Dr J has it right and the above commenter has it wrong.

The man-woman criterion of marriage does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

It is tiresome when SSMers misrepresent the Bible and repeat falsehoods in the name of their allegience to gay identity politics.

Anonymous said...

FIRST POINT: Heterosexual "marriages" performed by civil authorities (a justuice of the peace etc.) are NOT considered to be "marriages" blessed by God by either Catholic churches (Roman & Anglican), most protestant denomination, or Jewish congregations. Because these religions and their adherents acknowledge and respect secular state laws does not mean they are obliged to recognize civil heterosexual unions as "marriages" in the religious sense. As such, "civil marriages" are acknowledged as LEGAL but not "blessed".

Gay "civil unions" will be recognized by the aforementioned religions and their adherents as "klegal" but will NEVER be recognized as "blessed by God" simply BECAUSE they are "civil unions" performed by secular representatives of the state empowed to "perform" such unions.

"Holy Matrimony" and "blessed marriages" always have been, are and always will be "the way" these religions and their adherents "marry" in one another's eyes. The secular state CANNOT force religious institutions to embrace the secular perspective on this issue.

Homosexual Catholics, Jews and others who wish to have their "civil unions" recognized as "holy matrimony" would be well advised to target their appeals to the clergy of whatever religion they consider themselves to be adherents of.

Never engage in semantic argument or clarification with those who can neither spell the word nor understand/acknowledge its etymology or dictionary definition.

Literacy sure ain't as widespread as it used to be.

And BTW, I am a homosexual who has been in a monogamous relationship for over 20 years. We are both "theists" (look it up!) who are comfortable with the religious perspectives of others, including those represented within our own families