On Marriage: Religious liberty and “civil unions”

Religious Liberties

  • The California Supreme Court’s activist ruling in favor of homosexual “marriage,” along with the Governor of New York’s executive fiat forcing recognition of homosexual unions is part of an attempt to force this issue nationwide. Marriage chaos is about to be pushed nationwide — and religious and personal freedoms could be severely eroded as a result.
  • “The cold truth is that pro-homosexuality laws are incompatible with our religious freedom to object to homosexual behavior and stand up for Biblical morality and real marriage,” said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth. “Now with counterfeit ‘gay marriages’ being recognized in California and New York, and the proliferation of ‘civil union’ laws, we will see this battle of rights escalate across America.
  • Experts say organizations that receive state and federal funding will not be allowed to oppose working with gays for religious reasons. Some, most notably Catholic Charities of Boston (gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts), have opted to get out of the adoption business rather than be forced to allow gays to adopt.
  • Requiring citizens to sanction or subsidize homosexual relationships violates the freedom of conscience of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and other people who believe marriage is the union of the two sexes.
  • What about the next step: “Could churches in time risk their tax-exempt status by refusing to marry gays?”
  • Here’s what one “pro-gay” newspaper thinks: “That remains to be seen and will likely result in a steady stream of court battles.”
  • Civil marriage is a public act. Homosexuals are free to go through “union” ceremonies with each other privately, but they are not free to impose counterfeit “marriage” on their fellow citizens via the law.
  • Even some members of the political left admit that “Two titanic legal principles are crashing on the steps of the church, synagogue and mosque: equal treatment for same-sex couples on the one hand, and the freedom to exercise religious beliefs on the other.”

Civil Union Talking Points from Citizen Link (excerpts):

  • “Civil Unions” are a public policy effort to extend all or part of the civil benefits of marriage to non-married pairings.
  • The case for civil unions is fueled by the idea that all personal domestic relationships are of equal social value and law should not favor any one over another. The case relies on the misunderstanding that marriage is only a religious or merely sentimental/emotional relationship and, consequently, there is no compelling reason for the state to value one as more significant than any other.
  • Civil unions teach our society and children that all close personal relationships are equal. This lesson is problematic because no society has ever been able to sustain itself with a buffet-like mentality of family; just pick what suits you, because all choices are equally valid.
  • An impressive wealth of published social science research suggests that marriage is a greater social value than other domestic relationships.
  • Legislation promoting civil unions fails to recognize the “promotive” or “normative” nature of law. Law exits to ensure justice, but it also exists to ensure social well-being. To this end, law must encourage certain behaviors among others because certain behaviors contribute to higher levels of social well-being. Marriage, as we have just seen, does this.
  • In light of this, the law has historically favored one group of people over others, by encouraging one set of behaviors over others.

Civil Union Talking Points from the Illinois Family Institute (excerpts):

  • Marriage has been under attack for decades thanks to no-fault divorce laws and a greater cultural tolerance of sex outside marriage and our families have suffered. This, however, is no reason to completely abandon traditional marriage, which is the single most important building block of any civil society.
  • While the momentum to safeguard marriage is encouraging, some equally dangerous alternatives are being floated by secular conservatives and naïve pro-family leaders and legislators. The “feel good” compromise they are offering is different from marriage only by name.
  • We cannot, should not, and will not settle for these alternatives. If homosexual relationships acquire marital-type status in the law, several things will occur:
    • The government will promote and protect unhealthy homosexual behavior.
    • Taxpayers will be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships, which would receive the government’s imprimatur (and possibly “protected class” status in the law).
    • Your medical insurance premiums would increase. (Homosexual behavior, in medical terms, is a high-risk lifestyle. “Civil unions” and “domestic partnership” laws would require that employers provide medical benefits to homosexual partners just as they do for married couples. Medical expenses would certainly rise as insurance companies would have to provide coverage for both the “gay” employee and his/her partner.)
    • Churches and pulpits will be silenced. Can you imagine certain portions of your Bible being blacked out? Can you envision the day when your pastor, priest or rabbi is told by the government that he cannot teach that homosexuality is sinful? “Civil union” or “domestic partnership” laws would take us further down the slippery slope of an “official” U.S. government viewpoint on “sexual orientation” (homosexuality).
    • Homosexual adoptions would escalate. No child should have to be raised in an intentionally fatherless or motherless household due to an adult’s lifestyle choice.
    • School children will be taught to accept homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. Public school children are already at the mercy of liberal administrators and teachers who promote the homosexual agenda and its related behaviors (e.g., transsexuality, or gender confusion) wherever and whenever they can. In Massachusetts, where counterfeit “gay marriages” were legalized by 4-3 vote in the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, teachers are now emboldened to discuss homosexuality (and even “gay” sex) in public school classrooms. In the wake of the legalization of “gay marriage,” one 8th-grade Massachusetts teacher justified teaching her students about the specifics of lesbian sex-in response to questions from students about homosexual practices.
    • “Marriage” for same-sex couples (or the counterfeit equivalent under pseudonyms such as “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships”) is being promoted as an extension of tolerance, equality and civil rights. But all these devices are really wedges designed to overturn traditional sexual morality and to win official affirmation, celebration, subsidization and solemnization of behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it, harmful to society, and is still viewed as morally wrong by a majority of the American public.