Monday, January 16, 2012

My marriage won't affect you

"My marriage doesn't affect you" is the phrase used by some proponents of redefining marriage to mean, well, whatever they want to mean today. The claim is that redefining marriage is a "private" thing, and it is not your concern. But marriage is not a private thing, and it does affect us all.

Here in New Jersey same-sex civil unions have been recognized by the state since 2006. According to the bill:
Those rights and benefits afforded to same-sex couples under the “Domestic Partnership Act” should be expanded by the legal recognition of civil unions between same-sex couples in order to provide these couples with all the rights and benefits that married heterosexual couples enjoy;
And the state of NJ is now considering yet another bill (actually the same bill that failed to pass in 2010) to redefine marriage because, as I pointed out in "Same-sex marriage, why not?" and further explained in "Bigot", it doesn't matter if they have all of the rights, same sex "marriage" is about getting the state to force you to accept such relationships as being "good". If you care about this kind of bullying, call your legislators and governor Christie and ask them to oppose this bill and defend marriage and religious rights.

But back to my point. Redefining marriage will affect you. Last week a New Jersey judge declared that a United Methodist Church had to allow same-sex civil unions on its property in spite of its moral beliefs. From LifeSiteNews:
The United Methodist Church teaches, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,” and that “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.”

But Judge Metzger said church doctrine was irrelevant...

“He said this isn’t a case of religious liberty, which is simply not true,” Jim Campbell, who represented the resort and serves as litigation staff counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), told “What this case involves at its core is the rights of a religious group to use its property in a way that is consistent with its religious beliefs.”

Campbell said most people will find Metzger’s belief that the state can force a religious facility to violate its conscience “a very scary concept. If that is a principle of the law, then essentially the government can cast aside religion if it deems something more important.” Campbell called Metzger’s ruling “an error of Constitutional law.”

The local ruling seems to place non-discrimination above concerns of religious liberty, the mirror image of a Supreme Court ruling that took place earlier in the week. In the Hosanna-Tabor case, Chief Justice John Roberts ruled: “The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important. But so, too, is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission.” He concluded, “the First Amendment has struck the balance for us.”


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