Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why same-sex 'marriage' matters

Despite the fact that Americans just elected one of the most liberal presidents in history, they also voted to uphold traditional marriage in every state where it was on the ballot. Gay activists (and a few Episcopal bishops) would have you believe that votes against gay "marriage" are a result of bigotry, the equivalent of racism or sexism. After all, they argue, what's wrong with two people loving each other and wanting to publicly proclaim it? Doesn't the world need more committed love, not less? S.T. Karnick, writing in the autumn issue of SALVO magazine, points out that homosexuals may already "marry" in any number of places, under the auspices of any number of organizations. Churches such as the Episcopal Church USA, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, and numerous others "either explicitly allow the consecration or blessing of same-sex 'marriages' or look the other way when individual congregations perform such ceremonies."

No law prevents these religious organizations from conducting such rituals, nor would most Americans expect or want the government to dictate doctrine to churches. But if and when same-sex "marriage" becomes law, it becomes against the law not to follow it. And that could indeed result in the government not only dictating doctrine to churches, but to religious schools, and to individuals.

Right now, individuals and corporations may choose to treat same-sex unions the same way they treat traditional marriage, or not. As Karnick writes so succinctly: "This, of course, is the truly liberal and tolerant position." What's at issue here is government-enforced recognition that same-sex "marriage" is legally identical to traditional marriage, no matter the individuals' or institutions' religious beliefs.

Government intrusion on religion is what's at stake.

Despite what proponents of gay "marriage" argue, there are serious and wide-ranging implications for society by redefining something so fundamental. Already in Canada and Europe, pastors have been threatened with legal challenges as a result of teaching traditional Christian doctrine on marriage. And what about parents who want the right to be the ones teaching morality to their children? Will they have a legal leg to stand on when public schools teach that gay "marriage" is okay? Already, thanks to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), homosexuality is being introduced in schools at younger and younger ages. Just a few days ago, kindergarten students at a California school were given pledge cards produced by GLSEN and asked to sign them to support a "harassment-free school." Parents protested. But is there a day coming when such protests would bring charges of discrimination, punishable by law?

"Equality" laws in Great Britain recently forced a Christian adoption agency there out of business. Like a similar case in Massachusetts (where same-sex "marriage" is law), a Roman Catholic adoption agency in Wales can no longer continue its work of placing abandoned and abused children in homes. Why? Based on its Christian beliefs, St. David's Children sought out only homes with a mother and a father. As one British MP pointed out, there are plenty of other adoption agencies gay couples could have used. The government, because of innocuous-sounding "equality" laws, has essentially told the agency it can no longer base its work on its Roman Catholic tenets because they are, in effect, discriminatory. That is frightening. Exactly who are these laws supposed to be liberating, or for that matter, protecting?

Read the rest of the article here.

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