21 May 2008

Gay Marriage Consequences

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David Benkof notes that Gay Marriage is not simply some sort of private, self-regarding kind of thing. Legalized Gay Marriage is about forcing other people to recognize these relationships as valid, legitimate, and equal, and can potentially involve serious legal consequences to those who disagree, including churches and newspapers.

Although California marriage-equality leaders won’t say what impact they expect the new decision to have on religious freedom, activists in other states haven’t been so shy.

A representative of the largest Michigan gay-rights group, known as the Triangle Foundation, and openly gay Washington State Sen. Ed Murray both told me that any person who continues to conduct himself as if what he thinks is God’s definition of marriage is correct, instead of the gay community’s definition, should be fined, fired and even jailed until he relents.

“If you are a public accommodation and you are open to anyone on Main Street that means you must be open to everyone on Main Street. If they don’t do it, that’s contempt and they will go to jail,” says the Triangle Foundation’s Sean Kososky.

Sharon Malheiro, a lawyer and LGBT activist from Des Moines affiliated with the state’s gay-marriage lobby, ONE-IOWA, told me that if a teacher in a marriage-equality state taught that marriage is between a man and a woman, “then it becomes a job performance issue” and the school district should take appropriate action.

Michael Taylor-Judd, the president of the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington state, said if a newspaper writes that a given same-sex marriage wasn’t really a marriage, “it is certainly in the realm of possibility for someone to bring a [libel] suit, and quite possibly to be successful.”

The Triangle Foundation’s Kososky agreed: “I would be sympathetic to some damages.”

Now, no lesbian in history has lost her assets, her job, or her freedom for writing, teaching, and running her business guided by her belief that marriage is a union of any two individuals who love each other.

So why do gay activists outside California support limitations on the freedom of speech, the press, and religious expression for anyone who disagrees with them? And why won’t California marriage-equality activists go on the record with their opinions on this vital issue?

This new ruling doesn’t only harm traditionally religious people. It poses a serious danger to the well-being of children.

After four Massachusetts judges imposed this change on their state, Boston’s Catholic Charities was given the choice of treating couples without both a mother and a father the same as more traditional couples, or getting out of the adoption business altogether.

The well-regarded agency felt it had no choice but to shut down – which means there are children in the Bay State who do not have the mother and father they could have had if gay activists hadn’t been so strident.

He’s right. It is not difficult in the least to picture Gay Rights Organizations suing Catholic dioceses, demanding that Catholic Churches perform Gay Marriages. It’s just one more step down the same path.

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