Marriage Equality

Religious Conservatives love playing the victim, but with the recent marriage equality ruling, their rights are not being infringed upon

And so it begins. Not only does the United States enter a new era of equality, it also enters a new era of right-wing backlash. Religious conservatives are out in force already, crying about the recent Supreme Court decision which legalized gay marriage nationwide. And they’re singing the same tired song; religious liberty is at stake.

The base attack against the Supreme Court ruling is grounded in religion. No serious secular reason is being presented to not allow marriage equality. The main opponents have and will continue to be religiously motivated. Every right-wing Christian has gone out of their way to attack the recent ruling.

Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, you name it. Even my governor Bobby Jindal has chimed in. They’re all out blasting marriage equality, and using ancient texts of the bible to justify their positions. While we have heard time and time again that somehow God “created marriage” and that the bible states clearly homosexuality is a sin, we must remember this; these writings are irrelevant.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, nor shall prohibit the free exercise thereof.” This is what the First Amendment of the US Constitution says about religion and government policy.

Often the right will call themselves “Strict Constructionists” and bitch constantly about how we need to “interpret the Constitution” by what it strictly says. Well, the First Amendment is pretty plain in its language on religion and government. Government cannot sponsor religion nor can it prohibit anyone from practicing a religion.

This is important, because conservatives are trying to frame the issue as religion being infringed upon. The issue is clear by the SCOTUS ruling, however; no religious group is being forced to wed gay people. Churches are not forced by law to wed gay couples. The SCOTUS ruling merely deals with marriage certificates, the legal documents declaring someone married. Churches that do not condone gay marriage do not have to wed gay couples. However, state and local officials have to legally abide by and fulfill marriage contracts if applied for by gay couples.

I repeat again; religious groups are not obligated to wed gay couples. This matter rests purely with the secular authorities of the state, and no church has to agree. So when conservatives complain about religious liberty, they should be reminded of these facts.

The recent ruling does not threaten anyone’s religious rights. If you are a Christian and you don’t agree with gay marriage, you are not obligated to have a gay wedding. If you are a church that does not condone gay marriage, you do not have to perform gay weddings. If you are a Christian and are opposed to gay marriage, your rights to bigotry are not threatened at all in this matter.

Marriage equality is purely a secular and practical matter that had to be settled legally. While conservatives scream about “religious liberty” and “God’s law” being attacked, they should be reminded of the First Amendment. We cannot base our laws on religious law, and in no way can or should we take religion into account when denying citizens their secular legal rights. No one’s religion is threatened legally here.

If you morally disagree with the SCOTUS decision, then that is your choice. If your religion puts you in disagreement, that is your choice. But you have no legal right to enforce your religious doctrine on others by denying them their secular rights to marry. Marriage is as much a secular right of society as it is a religious right-of-passage.

When I hear Bobby Jindal or Mike Huckabee spout off about God and his law, they should immediately by swatted by the First Amendment. America is a secular nation governed by secular laws. The Supreme Court has moved forward. Religion has no legal grounds to oppose marriage equality.

30 COMMENTS

  1. […] Marriage Equality Does Not Affect Religious Liberty – Religious Conservatives love playing the victim, but with the marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court, their rights are not being infringed upon. By Julian Drury on June 28, 2015. […]

  2. The “christian” taliban, far worse than ISIS, al-qeda or any other terrorist organization.

    Transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn wasn’t murdered by an “evil atheist”, she wasn’t murdered by an “evil muslim”. She was murdered by her so-called “christian parents”.

    • How sad that you write from a white-American prospective. Just ask what happens to many children of Islam who go against their parent’s beliefs. You speak without real logic. Of course no transgender child should be murdered by her parents… who claim to be Christian. But DO NOT compare to groups who you clearly do not understand.

  3. Except that people are being sued for not wanting things involving gay marriage (cakes, posters, venues, etc) to be done in their personal businesses. I could care less if gay people get married, but to infringe upon the rights of private businesses to appease the crying protestors is ludicrous. Freedom is free for all, not the loud voiced.

    • However, I’d liked to see someone put in a window what they did in the 50’s, “NO Irish, No Blacks, No dogs!” You can bet even if it is a private business you will be sued. It’s the same thing when you’re telling people you won’t serve them for what they are, homosexual. I am a heterosexual married Irish mother of two and I know that someone else being gay is NONE of my business just as it is NONE of yours or those private businesses. Business sells if you have the money not if you meet their criteria, its called business for a reason (it’s only business not sell me who you are then you can buy my merchandise). SMH

  4. People y’all think as Christians we are focusing solely on homosexuality as a sin yeah there’s other sins but homosexuality is a sin that was punishable by death by stoning different sins have different punishment because morally they are wrong

    • Then you didn’t learn what Jesus meant when he said, I want mercy and not sacrifice. For if you understood you wouldn’t have condemned the guiltless ones. Learn to love others as you love yourself and there wouldn’t be a problem with hypocrisy.

      • Christians Love others as themselves, But sin has no recourse but eternal death.
        The price was paid on the Cross. If you have not receive forgiveness, the only recourse for you is ????.

        • Bible says you can kill your disobedient children. Where’s the Jesus loophole for this one? You know Jesus was against marriage and the family unit, right?

          • You can be dead in your sins. Without Jesus Christ in your heart, there is no hope. You must be born again. He did not come to condemn the world, but by His death on the cross, the world might be saved. Without His Spirit in your heart the scriptures cannot be spiritually discern. Turn away from your sins by asking forgiveness, Humble yourself
            to Him by thanking Him for dying on the cross for your sins.

    • Though your comment borders on the incoherent, I think I get your point. Let me respond:

      1. There are a total of seven biblical references that potentially speak to homosexual practices. I say “potentially” because there is much disagreement among credible biblical scholars as to which of these does and which of these does not. In any case, were we to accept that all seven speak to the issue of homosexual practices—which I, personally, do not—there is no denying that each speaks to a particular context within which that practice was taking place. And, in several, the real issue spoken to by the text would not be the homosexual practice but its contextual surroundings. In the New Testament record, Jesus, of course, is silent on the subject.

      2. One would need a calculator and a graduate math student to count the number of biblical references to the religious/ethical/moral mandates regarding care for “the widows, the orphans and the poor” and “hospitality to the stranger.” I’m pretty sure, given your clear proclivity for studying the Bible, that you’re familiar with the Old Testament text which names the “sin” of Sodom as being “a surfeit of pride…she cared not for the widows and the orphans.” Yet, as seriously as the Almighty seems to take the issues of caring for the poor and welcoming the stranger, it is interesting that Christian conservatives almost gleefully join the Republican chorus when it begins singing its hymns about “cutting assistance to the poor and the hungry” because they are “shiftless, lazy and dependent on the government” and its second-favorite group of hymns about sending “them outsiders with calves like cantaloupes…rapists” back home across the border.

      {And don’t bother to try the “He who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat” text on me. I’m way too familiar with the context of that passage and would just embarrass you with its contextual meaning.}

      3. How was that ham sandwich you had for lunch today? Just kidding. But, in fact, it would be forbidden by the dietary laws found in the Old Testament and the dietary laws adhered to by none other than Jesus himself—faithful Jew that he was.

      There is no segment of the Christian community—such as it is is—immune from picking and choosing which biblical prescriptions and proscriptions should be followed and which should not. The Christian Right, the Christian Center, the Christian Left—you name it, they all do it. Though the Christian Right seems to make the most egregious choices and then demagogue them.

      A credible Judeo/Christian ethic takes the vast collection of “do’s” and “don’ts” and filters it through the following: (1) Is that prescription or proscription applicable to a particular time and context or is it applicable to every time and context?; (2) What do we now know that, in primitive times, they did not know that either renders inapplicable a prescription or proscription or calls the basis for its standing into question?; (3) Does a prescription or proscription stand the ultimate test of calling forth, in thought, word or deed, a response that is reflective of the nature and character of God as is revealed in the crucified Jesus; i.e., self-giving, self-denying, sacrificial love with no qualifiers?

      While it is true that the single objective mandate of the Judeo/Christian ethic is Love, it is also true that Love is always subjectively defined. However, I have generally found, when a determinative opinion per what constitutes a loving thought, word or deed is required, the following to be true: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably…

      Now, I’m going to have a ham sandwich. And. Enjoy. Every. Bite. Of. It.

  5. “America is a secular nation governed by secular laws. ” This is the center of what the Dominionists such as Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, etc. hate. They want to establish a theocratic fascist Christian state in America, and the recent ruling goes squarely against that desire. This is why they and their Right-Wing Christian base/minions are crying like whiny-ass babies that their “religious rights are being infringed.” Make no mistake, Dominionists are dangerous, they have infected our politics, our judiciary, AND our MILITARY. When push comes to shuve, I would not put it past them to stage a military coup to get what they want: themselves in power and control over everyone’s lives, literally, power over life an death, because they intend to kill those that do not agree with their version of a Reich.

    • Nice use of big words to sound intelligent while basically spewing lies/theories.

      I hope you aren’t really this angry in general.

        • Your projection of stupidity is just that your projection. You might be right or you might be wrong. I hope I would choose to never put myself in such a low vibration over somebody’s projection. I’d rather be kind then right.

  6. I still don’t understand how the government can insert itself into abortion and body autonomy issues. After all, the objections there are also religion based. Is the difference that LGBTQ rights encompass men so the Supreme Court is more likely to uphold their rights!

    • Probably not, since LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gender. Abortion has many different issues running through it, some of which are religious and some not. Many religions consider it murder to have an abortion. The biggest difference is that it involves a form of life being snuffed out, so there are are moral issues as well as religious issues for many people. I also think that, as a society, many people still think of sex as something dirty and people who are sexually active, especially outside of marriage, as being bad. So, when a woman gets pregnant and wants an abortion, it is easy to point a condemning finger at her. But the same people do it if she wants to use birth control. And in rape cases, the victim is usually a woman and she ends up being victimized again by the system, in many instances. We live in a male dominated society (something that certain religions continue to promote) where women have had to fight tooth and nail for any freedom or changes to the system. While women have come a long way from being property to actually being allowed to have a life without a husband or father managing every aspect of it, we still have a long way to go before women will actually be equal in status in society. Unfortunately, some progress is stymied by women who, for reasons of upbringing or other influences believe that the role of a woman should be subordinate to that of men. Also, since the vast majority of legislators are men, and they must have particularly small egos, because they seemingly cannot contemplate the idea that woman can actually think and do for herself, so they feel a compulsion to try to control not just their own wives and daughters, but everyone else’s too! And, some of the people who have a majority in Congress right now seem to be preoccupied in a rather unhealthy manner with the idea of controlling and constraining all women.

    • Are their churches forced by the government to marry couples who have been divorced without annulments or who don’t fulfill other premarital agreements? If the answer to that is no, then they have nothing other than ignorant fear and a misunderstanding of the first amendment to worry about.

  7. Agree wholly with the above but let’s pretend for a moment that this is a religious freedom issue:
    What of the religious freedom of those individuals and denominations that embrace marriage equality and have, until now, been forced to forgo a significant and sacred right due to government interference?
    What of the conscience of a Minister forced to deny marriage rites to a segment of his congregation? To treat with inequality some of God’s children because the law says they are unequal.

    What about the couples who truly and deeply believe that living together out of wedlock is sinful but are denied the opportunity to enter into marriage?
    The prohibition of equal access to the institution trampled far more religious freedom than granting it ever could have done…just because no one was EVER planning to force straight couples to forgo marriage.

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