Get Ready to Kiss Religious Freedom Good-Bye
In Massachusetts, a couple was incensed that their five-year old came home from Kindergarten with a book promoting same-sex relationships are equal to traditional marriage. The man went to see the Superintendent of schools asking for a religious exemption for his kids. “But same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts,” was the reply. No prior notification was needed, he was told. “I’m prepared to stay here all night until I get that exemption, and prior notification,” he replied. Not only was he denied an exemption, he ended up spending the night in jail.
What happens when same-sex marriage is made legal while many people of faith must object due to deeply held convictions? There is an unavoidable clash between church and state. Catholic Charities of Massachusetts no longer place for adoption because denying a homosexual couple a child for adoption is regarded as discrimination in that state.
Here in California, if Proposition 8 fails, this state will essentially declare that the Bible promotes bigotry and that our faith is a form of bigotry. A statement as simple as “A child needs a mom and a dad” will be regarded as hate speech.
While it is true that the imperial decision of the State Supreme Court which established same-sex marriage included a promise of religious exemption, do not expect that to be respected for long. This summer, two physicians were successfully sued in California by a lesbian couple for refusing to perform an artificial insemination. They cited their religious convictions and were willing to refer the couple to physicians willing to perform the procedure—but lost their case because it was regarded as “denial of professional services.”
If Prop 8 fails, expect same-sex couples to target evangelical and Roman Catholic churches before this year is even out. They will approach such churches requesting to be married with the knowledge that they will be denied. Then they will sue these churches—which at minimum means that huge expenses and reduced capacity to minister. At worst, based on the precedent of the physician case, these churches could lose and be hit for huge, even destructive loses. The idea is demoralize and destroy principled objection to homosexuality.
So how will you vote on Prop 8? I know how I’m going to vote. I don’t want to kiss religious liberty good-bye, so I’m voting YES on Prop 8.