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  • The Continued Same-Sex Marriage Assault on the First Amendment

    The Washington Post reported last Friday:

    Faith organizations and individuals who view homosexuality as sinful and refuse to provide services to gay people are losing a growing number of legal battles that they say are costing them their religious freedom.

    The lawsuits have resulted from states and communities that have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Those laws have created a clash between the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of religion, religious groups said, with faith losing. They point to what they say are ominous recent examples:

    – A Christian photographer was forced by the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission to pay $6,637 in attorney’s costs after she refused to photograph a gay couple’s commitment ceremony.

    – A psychologist in Georgia was fired after she declined for religious reasons to counsel a lesbian about her relationship.

    – Christian fertility doctors in California who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian patient were barred by the state Supreme Court from invoking their religious beliefs in refusing treatment.

    – A Christian student group was not recognized at a University of California law school because it denies membership to anyone practicing sex outside of traditional marriage.

    The post left out a Los Angeles City College student whose professor called him a “fascist bastard” and refused to let him finish his speech against same-sex marriage and Methodist ministry in New Jersey forced to end performing wedding ceremonies because they did not allow a same-sex union to be performed on their campground.

    The same-sex marriage assault on religious freedom should come as no surprise. Heritage fellow Thomas Messner wrote last year:

    Specifically, in a society that redefines marriage to include same–sex unions, those who continue to believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman can expect to face three types of bur­dens. First, institutions that support the traditional understanding of marriage may be denied access to several types of government benefits, and individ­uals who work in the public sector may face cen­sorship, disciplinary action, and even loss of employment. Second, those who support the tradi­tional understanding of marriage will be subject to even greater civil liability under nondiscrimination laws that prohibit private discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and gender. Third, the existence of nondiscrimination laws, combined with state administrative policies, can invite private forms of discrimination against reli­gious individuals who believe that marriage involves a man and a woman and foster a climate of contempt for the public expression of their views.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    49 Responses to The Continued Same-Sex Marriage Assault on the First Amendment

    1. Joe, Los Gatos says:

      Seems like the assault on the first-amendment in those examples comes from the anti-discrimination laws themselves, not marriage recognition. None of the five cases involved comes from a state that allows same-sex legal marriage.

      Anti-discrimination laws in general need to be repealed, they are an assault on our freedom as Christians.

    2. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      This is why the Constitution is NOT a living and breathing document! This is why "redefining" something that has been in place for centuries is not a good idea! This is why allowing the minority to over-rule the majority is never a good thing! This is why making rules and laws to make you "feel good" is never good! this is why we need to return the Government to the Republic of the United States of America!

    3. Angry Dumbo says:

      Ask anyone who has gone through a divorce, tolerance, respect and acceptance does not come via a court order. The use of the judiciary here is counterproductive for all except the Democrat party.

    4. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Nature defines marriage as between opposite sexes. State legislators (not judges) can only recognize that fact. Anything else is deviant sexual behavior that if officially sanctioned will lead to the unchecked corruption of a sane society.

    5. bluprntguy, Californ says:

      These lawsuits are NOT the result of the legalization of same sex marriage, they are based on nondiscrimination laws that have been on the books for decades. Just as a lunch counter can not refuse service to blacks, people that offer services to the public can not refuse particular services to gays and lesbians. As for the doctor, she took an oath which states "To keep the good of the patient as the highest priority." If she had a moral issue with treating her patients, she should not have taken an oath to put the welfare of her patients above all else.

    6. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Hey, Mr. blu… from California, your "lunch counter" comparison is way off the mark. Being gay does not equate to someone's race. In other words, a person's physiological being and their chosen behavior don't share the same ground. One is controlled by nature. The other by the individual. Laws that focus on behavior are not discriminatory. And providers are absolutely justified in refusing to perform elected procedures that violate their moral conscience.

    7. Just Don't Disc says:

      The day may well come when we have scientific proof that being gay is genetically designed and a destiny for those born with it, and not a choice – of course some will deny it – because some one a long long time ago, wrote about something they had no knowledge about – and claimed that it was the word of God. Your actions of discrimination, and your decision to believe it however, are absolutely a choice.

      So decide today if you will choose to harbor discrimination in your head and heart, or if you will treat them like you would like to be treated, with respect.

    8. Bill, Never-Never La says:

      Chirstianity is loosing converts in North America … I wonder why.

    9. Alex, Illinois says:

      J.C., being gay is not a choice. A gay person has as much choice in being gay as a white person had a choice in being white. You, however, do have a choice in deciding whether or not to treat gay people equally.

      Also, as a medical student, I have already learned that health care professionals must provide equal care to all people. It is not a physician's or nurse's place to be judge and jury on a patient's behavior. If a health care provider discriminates against patients, he or she may rightfully lose his or her license.

    10. allen California says:

      There are rights and protections provided by the Government that are in question here. No matter how it's framed, there are rights extended to different sex couples that are not available to other people. Since I pay taxes like every other working citizen, I have a problem with this separation. I don't want more rights or special protections because I am gay, I just to be treated the same by my government.

      By the way, I don't care what it's called, and I wouldn't be getting married for biblical reasons; I would be getting married for the same rights and protections that are obviously taken for granted by a large percentage of this country. Most importantly, I want to be able to pass on my Social Security to my partner if something should happen to me and vice versa. There are two possible resolutions to this dispute. Either make marriage legal for all, or grant Civil Unions to all and leave marriage where it belongs, in the church. Of course advocates against gay marriage typically only see one option, to continue to urge others to deny rights to gay people.

    11. Kai Jones, Illinois says:

      Heh, actually he's right Hughes, you're the one way off the mark. These legal challenges are a result of faith based organizations operating in states which prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation. So this is 100% analogous to refusing service to someone based on race or creed.

      Imagine if members of the KKK became far more numerous, would it then be acceptable for them to not serve Jews, Blacks, or one of the other minorities they discriminate against, because of their religious beliefs? The reason why a KKK member has to serve someone of those minority groups is because the states offer protection against discrimination based on creed or race.

      Or how would you feel if a business owner decided not to serve a Christian? By your argument, being a Christian is a chosen behavior, so why can't we refuse service to all Christians as well?

    12. Kelsieb says:

      Is it freedom of religion that is being abridged? Where in the Bible does it say it's a sin to take a picture of a gay couple? Where in the Bible does it say it's a sin to counsel a couple? Where in the Bible does it say it's a sin to inseminate a lesbian? Is it freedom of religion, or freedom of disdain, that is the problem?

    13. Kelsieb says:

      Mr. J.C. Hughes, from Texas……..your understanding of this topic is minimal. We are born with our sexuality, it is not chosen (or, when did you chose yours?). It is your religion that is chosen. I quote you, "Laws that focus on behavior are not discriminatory." Therefore laws that prohibit refusing publicly offered services to gays are not discriminatory? Thank you.

    14. Mary Blanton, Indian says:

      Jesus weeps.

    15. thomasAlex says:

      Religious Freedom, is the freedom to practice any of the 4k+ Religions you choose to. None of those examples took your Right away to practice a Religious belief. When it comes to the Work place, personal beliefs and opinions are left at home. How can the definition of Marriage be redefined if Marriage has always been defined differently throughout Civilization?

    16. David KCMO says:

      DISCRIMINATORY BIGOTS

    17. Dan Bowers says:

      Christians like the author of this charade are shameless in seeking to deny the Civil Rights of others, and when they fail, they accuse those whom they sought to deny rights of attacking them (Christians). This is nothing new, Christians have been doing this since the days of Constantine. Why is it that so many Christians never seem to tire of howling at the moon, proclaiming their right to the pursuit of happiness, while insisting that their right to pursue happiness includes denying that right to others? In other words, many Christians essential assert that they can only find happiness in denying Civil Liberties to others. My wish is that these Christians be subjected to the same kind of hatred and bigotry they self-righteously inflict on others as their own form of entertainment posing as religious expression; maybe then they would recognize how deeply they injure others…though I suspect their consciences are already too dead to care how they've injured others.

    18. Tyler Rabenold, Jack says:

      I am a christian and have been since I was a child. As a christian I have decided to live my life and abide by principles set forth in the Bible. Which these same principles were used by the founding fathers of the nation you live in to frame its constitution.

      Also in the doctor example they are not refusing treatment, but instead a refusing a procedure that they find to be morally wrong.

      Religious freedom does not mean that I can practice my beliefs only if it coincides with what you believe.

    19. Kai Jones, Illinois says:

      The doctor didn't object to the morality of the procedure, but to the patient. They are fertility doctors, I doubt they'd object morally to the idea of artificial insemination, and then have that be their business.

      I also think it's rather funny that Christians always proclaim our founding fathers used Christian principles. See, they later wrote a treaty with Tripoli, and I'll quote here, because it's so funny to me:

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

      So I guess, if I quote directly from a document written by the founding fathers, maybe that would argue they didn't use Christian principles?

      Also it's a horrible stance to say gays are choosing a sinful lifestyle and that's why you can discriminate against them, as the choice of religion has absolutely no biological predisposition. It's a choice to a particular lifestyle. If you turn your arguments around, you realize they would persecute Christians, right?

    20. Mike Chambers, New Y says:

      Why does no one see the discrimination against religions who perform same sex marriage as part of their faith? Many churches perform same sex marriage as part of their religion and state laws currently prohibit the practice of that part of their faith. If a state law were made that did that in another area, the out cry would be unbelievable. With the anti-marriage crowd, it always seems to be a one way street. However, if we get rid of anti=discrimination laws, that means ANYONE can refuse service to ANYONE for ANY reason. Wonder what people will do when a restaurant has a sign, NO Christians?

    21. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I never stated my personal feelings about religion or humanity. Anyone who personally knows me would say your attacks are unfounded. All the negative replies to my comments are nothing more than preconceived projections. Maybe those of you so critical of what I stated should revisit your own biased beliefs.

    22. Dale Richner says:

      This is a big laugh. What a bunch of cry-babies. It's all very simple folks: you can have all the religious freedom you want UNTIL exercising it infringes on the civil liberties of others.

      It is not against the law to be gay, and you therefore have no legal right to discriminate against gays outside your churches.

      For example, you believe it is wrong to lie or cheat, but you know darn well you can not discriminate against a liar or a cheater just because you disapprove. That has never been your right.

      Think and feel whatever you like about gay couples wanting to solidify their unions under the law. You're free to do that. You are NOT free to discriminate against them, not in America. Don't like it? Go move to Iran.

      I'm sure KKK members don't particularly care for treating black people equally in society either. But just like with you and gay people, that's too bad.

    23. Pingback: Should it be legal to publicly support traditional marriage? « Wintery Knight Blog

    24. Andy, Chicago, IL says:

      J.C. said "nature defines marriage as between one mand and one woman". Nature? Are you really trying to speak for nature itself? I'm assuming that this ideology of what nature defines is your understanding of the world based on religious perspectives – not on anything having to do with nature. Then again, you are from Texas…

    25. Pam Albany GA says:

      Jesus weeps.

    26. Barb -mn says:

      We are born OF A SEX! NOT WITH OUR SEXUALITY?! The act of sex is a choice and how you conduct that act is a failure to avoid temptation. “Laws that focus on behavior is discriminatory, as some behavior doesn't abide by the law.”

      As people go out of their way to impose their selfish agenda to effect the burden on others, they are more sinful then their worth.

    27. Dale Richner CA says:

      Barb, I think you're confusing sex (gender), sexual orientation (homo vs. hetero), and sexuality (behavior). Everyone is born with a sexual orientation. Or are you trying to say you have equal natural desire to have sex with men or with women?

      Sexual orientation is not a crime, not a basis for discrimination, and there is nothing unnatural about it. In fact it would not be a problem at all were it not for people like you making it one. Think about that.

    28. Barb -mn says:

      You're wrong Dale! I wrote nothing on sexual behavior regarding discrimination. If people are born with sexual orientation there wouldn't be PUBERTY NOW WOULD THERE? Marriage is a DEFINED ACT BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN! Have you no control? Have you no sense of reasoning? Have you know ability to accept what is defined?

      I'll tell you what those causing this dilemma have. A weakness of unacceptance. A weakness of selfishness. A desire to expose their personal life style to get a rise out of every true Christian. To destroy the laws of the church.

      Gays have been around since the beginning of time. Those before the 20th century had the integrity to keep it to themselves. Today, they've become immature to the point of victimizing themselves for their own gain. Pretty pathetic isn't it?

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    30. Dale Richner CA says:

      Barb, where does this hostility come from?

      First, I'd like to know what your credential is to speak about what gay people want. See, I am a gay person so I think I have a bit more qualification, and let me tell ya hon you've got it all wrong.

      I don't give a hoot about your acceptance. I mean, why would I? I don't know you and based on your attitude I don't respect you, so what makes you think I'd value your acceptance? Sounds like your ego is a little over-inflated.

      You wrote, "If people are born with sexual orientation there wouldn’t be PUBERTY NOW WOULD THERE?" Barb, are you saying that you were not heterosexual until puberty? Come on. Yes, all people are born with a sexual orientation. And like heterosexuals, homosexuals have their first awarenesses with the onset of puberty. Pretty simple.

      Marriage also used to be defined as an agreement for a man to gain property and a maid. Women had no right and no say in the matter. Sometimes socials "deals" were involved between families. So please don't try to sell me this bit about not changing marriage. We've done it plenty before. Like in 1967 when interracial couples were no longer banned. So Barb, have you no ability to comprehend that marriage can expand?

      As for getting a rise out of Christians, well if Christians would stop flinging themselves into a tizzy over it there would be no problem, would there?

      If you think integrity on the part of a gay person means to hide who they are in shame and self loathing just to appease the likes of judgmental loudmouths like yourself, then I don't think you know very well what the word 'integrity' means.

      You don't have to like it, but sweetie in America the constitutions says I am your equal 100% in the eyes of the law. There's nothing you can do to make me accept less. Those days are over.

      I'm sure KKK members don't much care for black people being their equal either. But they learn to shut their yaps about their bigotry.

    31. Nick, Philadelphia says:

      Just a note to your readers:

      The facts seem to have been lost a bit… Here are a few observations

      * The laws being applied here are not created by judges; these are not constitutional doctrines; they are laws that were passed by elected representatives of the respective states and signed by the governors. The constitution, other than prohibiting slavery, does not prohibit private individuals or private organizations discriminating against other private people, on any ground including race, gender, etc.

      * I'm skeptical of some of the omitted facts in the above examples. For example, the "campground" was in fact an alcove on a public board walk that received *state funds to renovate it.* The allegations against the church also stated that the owners rented it to secular organizations for *non-religious activities.* It's these two things that are really critical. This isn't about a religious organizations right to worship as they see fit — that is constitutionally protected under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment — this is about private organizations, religious or otherwise, engaging in secular activities open to the public. When these entities, even religious ones, do something non-religious and operate more like a business, they are rightly subjected to the same rules of any other business.

      * Be careful of your distaste of anti-discrimination laws, because you could be the one hurt. Because of these laws, private landowners are prohibited from discriminating when leasing or selling their land, building, homes, etc. to people based on religious beliefs. Even if you believe sexual orientation is a choice — a belief that has no support in credible research — belief in a religion and religious exercise is most definitely a choice. That means a landlord could deny you an apartment for being christian, an owner of a building could deny a church a lease thereby preventing believers from congregating for services, or a restaurant could could refuse service to anyone who doesn't swear an oath of of atheism.

      The point is whether it's religious belief or conduct or sexual orientation or conduct, the money is still green.

    32. Barb -mn says:

      Dale: Barb, where does this hostility come from?

      Me: Sorry for the hostility.

      Dale: First, I’d like to know what your credential is to speak about what gay people want. Me: I know and have known many throughout my life. Dale: See, I am a gay person so I think I have a bit more qualification, and let me tell ya hon you’ve got it all wrong. Me: You don't have to share your sexual preference with me Dale. You made it quite obvious.

      Dale: I don’t give a hoot about your acceptance. Me: Gosh Dale, back at ya'. Dale: I mean, why would I? Me: It wouldn't be under my expectations. Dale: I don’t know you and based on your attitude I don’t respect you, so what makes you think I’d value your acceptance? Me: It's not my acceptance dale. I don't make up the rules, I abide by those that are civil. Dale: Sounds like your ego is a little over-inflated. Me: No, just disappointed.

      Dale: You wrote, “If people are born with sexual orientation there wouldn’t be PUBERTY NOW WOULD THERE?” Barb, are you saying that you were not heterosexual until puberty? Me: I'm saying we are all heterosexual until puberty. Upbringing, atmosphere, society, government education. All play a role on who we become. Dale: Come on. Yes, all people are born with a sexual orientation. And like heterosexuals, homosexuals have their first awarenesses with the onset of puberty. Pretty simple. Me: Pretty unfortunate for you that it is not a justification to allow you to be christian. If what you say is true, it is your weakness to carry out this sin of your self gratification. Giving into temptation. Where your will means more to you then the will of God.

      Dale: Marriage also used to be defined as an agreement for a man to gain property and a maid. Women had no right and no say in the matter. Sometimes socials “deals” were involved between families. So please don’t try to sell me this bit about not changing marriage. Me: Laws became more civil, Dale. Dale: We’ve done it plenty before. Like in 1967 when interracial couples were no longer banned.

      Me: More liberties acknowledged. Freedom of choice, Dale. Dale: So Barb, have you no ability to comprehend that marriage can expand? Me: That's right Dale, not to include additional definition that is in opposition to the initial definition. Marriage did not initiate in the government it initiated under God and in the church. And this is where the law of separation of church and government comes.

      Dale: As for getting a rise out of Christians, well if Christians would stop flinging themselves into a tizzy over it there would be no problem, would there?

      Me: It is in opposition to the beliefs. And just because you obviously do not believe, what gives you the right to interfere with others beliefs?

      Dale: If you think integrity on the part of a gay person means to hide who they are in shame and self loathing just to appease the likes of judgmental loudmouths like yourself, then I don’t think you know very well what the word ‘integrity’ means.

      Me: I didn't know they were hiding in shame and self loathing? You said this is natural. I assumed integrity. But Just what I stated it to mean, Dale. Keep your private life to yourself. Sex used to be a private matter. Now everyone wants center stage. And privileges they just don't qualify for.

      Dale: You don’t have to like it, but sweetie in America the constitutions says I am your equal 100% in the eyes of the law. Me: It says homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals? I didn't know it was the business of the constitution to give rights to sexual orientations. Dale: There’s nothing you can do to make me accept less.

      Me: I'm not saying a thing about you accepting less. I'm saying you need to accept, period. Lines have to be drawn in a nation of civil law. And to be followed to avoid violations to to others and wasted times and needless costs such as these. Have your sexual acts Dale. Nobody cares like you do.

      Dale: Those days are over.

      Dale: I’m sure KKK members don’t much care for black people being their equal either. But they learn to shut their yaps about their bigotry.

      Me: Well, perhaps you should seek some mental health. You see Dale, I don't care one bit how you have your self gratification. I'd rather it was never made my business period. I think what you want from government is extremely selfish. And can do alot of damage in alot of areas.

    33. Dale Richner CA says:

      Barb, I think it's unusual that you are so wound up and fixated on gay sex. Gay people are exactly like anyone else except in the orientation of their sexual/romantic attractions. So what? In every single other detail they live their lives just as you do. Why do you insist on fixating on something that's none of your business?

      You wrote: "I’m saying we are all heterosexual until puberty." Baloney. I ask you again, what is your credential to assert such a thing? Are you an expert on human sexuality? If not then I think you are blowing hot air and know nothing of what you're talking about.

      Don't try to make this about the "will of God." You, Barb, are the only one here who thinks homosexuality is a problem for God. I don't. My pastor doesn't. My friends and family, virtually all of them Christians, don't. And many, many people of all faiths have no issue with it. You are not God's little soldier, and you do not speak for God.

      You wrote, "Marriage did not initiate in the government it initiated under God and in the church. And this is where the law of separation of church and government comes." Actually, you are wrong. But for argument's sake let's pretend you're correct. The separation of church and state is precisely why civil marriage must include gay couples, and why religion-based objections like yours must be limited to holy matrimony. Neither God nor any church hands out marriage licenses at city hall. That's why atheists can get them too.

      You wrote: "[The constitution] says homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals?" Of course it doesn't, don't be foolish. What I'm referring to is that constitutionally in America all citizens, whether gay or straight, are treated equally under the law. It is not against the law to be gay. If my religion says green eyes are a sin, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the law. Likewise, if your religion says I am a sin, it is equally irrelevant.

      As for "interfering with others' beliefs," marriage equality for gay couples would only be doing that if someone forced you to enter into a same-sex marriage, which no one will. Once again your logic is half baked.

      So don't get on me about "selfish," lady. You are selfish. I am merely standing up and demanding that my country lives up to it's promise of equality under the law. It has nothing to do with you. Then you come along and have to stick your nose in and try to keep me from what you already have. Considering that my getting legally married to the person I love would in no way affect you, I'd say that's pretty darn selfish of you!

      Barb, every word of every argument you bring forth stems from either religion or your personal distaste, neither of which has anything to do with law. Sooner or later you will lose this fight.

    34. Barb -mn says:

      Talk about a tizzy huh, Dale. I never said it was against the law to be gay. But when a person is as selfish as you, you refuse to accept even words written. I've told you I don't care how you live your life or have your sex. Yet, you say I do? You lie about your friends and family your pastor of all people, Hmm. Let me guess, government educated, right? I've expressed the meaning of MARRIAGE WHICH YOU ARE NOT A PART OF! And what you are doing is interfering into what marriage is a part of.

      Everything you say is as you say "pretty simple." But this pretty simple solution is going to impact many more issues that are not necessary if people like you could accept a "pretty simple" definition of a word.

      There's no winning or losing Dale. I'm writing my opinion, not to get a tizzy out of you. The fool is in the minds of those who cover up or hide behind the factual and refuse to accept. This isn't about me, Dale. It's all about you. I'm sure you'll get your way. Spoiled brats usually do.

      Every word of every argument brought forth stems from NEITHER RELIGION NOR PERSONAL DISTASTE, Dale. I know and you said yourself, you don't know me so stop wording me as if you do.

    35. Dale Richner CA says:

      Barb, now you are really behaving very immaturely, lashing out like that. I think you can probably do better than that.

      So I guess we've settled the question of your qualification to make assertions about gay people: you have none.

      I'd love it if you would explain what kind of "negative impacts" you imagine will happen if gay couples are allowed to get marriage licenses. (I see only positive impacts, so this ought to be interesting.)

      Once again, how is it that I'm being selfish? The way I see it, this has absolutely nothing to do with you. I'd be interested to hear how my gaining equal civil rights makes me selfish or a "spoiled brat."

      If not from your religion or your personal distaste, then where does your hostile anti-gay-marriage attitude come from? Please, by all means, educate me.

      Lastly dear, how about you step back from making statements about my friends, family, and pastor? Think you can manage that? I spoke nothing but truth about them. In fact, too bad you can't meet them. You might learn a thing or two.

    36. Barb -mn says:

      Dale, you're just a twist and a turn away from the truth. Something you won't allow yourself. We are 100% equal. You wrote so yourself. You have the same EQUAL right to get married as I. The only difference is you don't want to follow the definition. Which makes you selfish or ignorant or a spoiled brat.

      When the government has to spend time to deal with your personal lifestyle and preference and demands that are all about you and not about ALL is a waste of SOME people's money. If you look to the dictionary under selfish, you will see how you fit the definition.

    37. Dale Richner CA says:

      Oh, Barb, please tell me that you're not suggesting that even though I am a gay man I should marry a woman. Say it clearly: is that or is that nmot what you mean to say?

      If it is, then I'd like to also know if you are prepared to marry YOUR children off to gay people who can never really love them the way they deserve to be loved.

      Barb, that is as crazy as me expecting you to marry a woman just to make me happy (assuming you are straight). It makes no sense whatsoever.

      Besides, when same sex marriage equality is a reality, we will still be 100% equal because you, like I, will have every right to marry someone of the same sex if you want to. (Once again, your logic is half baked.)

      I'm still waiting on the "negative impacts."

      I'd also still like to know: if not from your religion or your personal distaste, then where does your hostile anti-gay-marriage attitude come from? You are the one who says it is neither of those things.

    38. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Being gay is a choice, I will never believe that God made you that way. If you read the Bible you can see how God feels about the gay issue. What you do is between you and God, we all will answer to Him one day for our sins. The thing about being equal is a bunch of crap, I am tired of having this junk shoved down my throat by a bunch of idiots. I do not run around screaming that I am hetro, yet you yell at the top of your voice that you are gay, and expect special treatment. You may get it, just not from me.

    39. Dale Richner CA says:

      Hi Dennis. Well, more hostility that I don't know where it comes from. I have a couple questions for you:

      Can you please describe for me the time when you chose to be heterosexual after contemplating your options? I love this theory that we choose it. It interests me because I'd like to know how you explain the illogical-ness of people choosing something that is bound to bring them heartache, shame in society, discrimination, in some cases physical harm, and general cruelty and disdain from, well, people like you. Personally, I don't know even one person who chooses things to bring them misery. But please, by all means educate me.

      I'd also love to hear what your credential is to know with such certainty things about being gay when presumably you are not. Is your educational background in human sexuality?

      Also, while you make it clear what you believe your God's position to be, has it occurred to you that others don't share your belief? For example, I consider myself a religious person but my church and my belief in God have no issue with my sexual orientation. So tell me: why should your religion dictate my civil liberties? You don't see me trying to force you to marry a man do you?

      Also, please describe how gay couples getting a marriage license at city hall affects you. You say it's "jamming something down your throat;" please explain. I've never felt anything was jammed down my throat by someone else getting a marriage license. Seems an odd concept.

      Also, what is this "special treatment" you refer to? When gay people have the right to marry their same sex life partner, you will have that right too. EVeryone will have that right. Sounds pretty fair to me, nothing special.

      I look forward to your elaborating on these things.

    40. Barb -mn says:

      Dale, sweet, sweet Dale,

      If sex wasn't a choice to have, THEN RAPE WOULD BE LEGAL!

      Dale says: I consider myself a religious person but my church and my belief in God have no issue with my sexual orientation.

      Of course not Dale. Selfish people don't read the bible or they skim through the pages their at fault on. Maybe you worship another god, as being a lover of yourself and ok w/your god is not ok with the true God the Father!

      I told you what my credentials are yet you refused to acknowledge. What are your credentials, Dale? If it's because you're "gay" there's your special treatment. Settle down Dale, your veins are showing. ta

    41. Kevin- WI says:

      Dale:

      Your calm, cool response to Dennis' post is impressive.

      Bottom line is scripture passages throughout the old and new testaments specifically address the immorality of homesexuality. You can "interprate" them differently if you like, but going back to the original Hebrew, Latin, and Greek texts shows the obvious stance on this. And yes, we do believe the writings were inspired by God's Holy Spirit, not just men writing their opinions.

      Basically, as Christians, we don't want to live in a society that condones homosexual behavior. Legalizing gay marraige would be one big way of condoning that lifestyle. Therefore we oppose it. Sorry, but you're still in the minority.

    42. Dale Richner CA says:

      Barb dearest, I do not accept your pious and snotty judgment of me and my family and my faith. From you, of all people.

      How smug of you that because my faith does not mirror yours there's something wrong with it. Hon, that's how they act in Iran, not America.

      I never said it was not a choice to have sex, I said a person's sexual orientation is not a choice. AND I already delineated the difference for you. Do I really have to spoon feed you like a two year old? Because if you can't keep up we can't have much of a dialog can we?

      No, you did not tell me your credentials to make proclamations about homosexuality. Mine are that I am gay. I am gay, therefore I have some kind of authority and credibility when speaking about what it is to be gay. See how that works? Pretty simple. Now: what is your credential? Without any you're just blowing hot air babe.

      Listen, Barb, the only reason I engage in this dialog is to debate this issue on a basis of legal fact and reason. It affects me greatly on the most personal level.

      Every point you've brought up I have rebutted with fact or logic. Do you have more? Because I can debate this for as long as you can stay focused instead of lashing out at me and my family and my faith.

      You don't have to agree with what me, and I don't care if you do, but for the record this is exactly the type of dialog that will show more and more people that there is no legal basis to continue to deny gay couples access to a legal marriage license.

      Many gay couples are raising children. Until marriage equality is achieved for them their families are not as protected under the law as families where the couple is legally married. That is wrong. There is a lot at stake here.

    43. Dale Richner CA says:

      Kevin, thank you for your calm, respectful and articulate post.

      I understand what you say. However, what scripture says about gay people, particular as it relates to monogamous lifelong couples, is anything but 'obvious' if you ask me. And there are Christian churches that agree with me, although clearly not yours. I know you feel differently than I do, so on this point we can agree to disagree.

      What I would like to address is your last paragraph.

      First, a behavior that is deemed immoral by several churches but is not against the law in secular society is not a basis to deny a legal marraige license. For example, it is not illegal to lie to someone, even chronically, but most would agree it is immoral. Yet we can ALL agree that while neither of us likes a liar they need to be granted equal access to a civil marriage license because there is no legal basis to bar them from it.

      Second, I disagree about 'condoning.' Whether or not same sex marriage is legal will not change the number of people who are gay. You're either gay or you're straight. For those who are gay, the lucky ones will fall in love with a partner for life and live happily ever after. Those gay couples will and do exist whether they have the right to a marriage license or not. So while it might feel that allowing same sex couples to get married is tacitly approving, I really don't think it is.

      I really think underneath everything else what this is about is fairness. It's about being constitutionally fair to the families created when a gay couple "settles down" in the exact same way we do when a straight couple "settles down."

      Legal marriage is separate from the holy bond of matrimony a couple may or may not seek from their church, if they have a church. Until this came up none of us had a reason to see them as separate, but now we do.

    44. Barb -mn says:

      Dale,

      There's one GOD, one BOOK and one GREATEST MAN to follow.

      Your book of personal acceptance and opinion along with you, will come to judgment.

      Take care, Dale.

      May you find the Lord! May you lead others to find the Lord.

      Love,

      Barb

    45. Dale Richner CA says:

      Barb, I have found the Lord. It doesn't meet your approval, but then I don't seek your approval so we're good. Best wishes to you as well.

    46. Rachael, FL says:

      All this talk about what the bible says. Have we forgotten that people came to America to escape religious persecution? Church and state are suppose to be seperate! When looking at all the different religions and civilizations throughout history, one will see that there is no set definition of marriage, much less that marriage should be strictly one man and one woman. So where did this definition come from? Chrisitainity. There is nothing wrong with practicing the religion of you choice, however, there something wrong when you try to impose that religion on others. All couples who choose to devote themselves to one another should be granted the same benefits regardless of their sexual orientation. After all, after the 1700s, the institution of marriage was vested in the state and no longer solely in the church. Because it is a governmental matter and not a religious one, there is no room for discrimination. For the government to try and define marriage and put requirements on it violates the 14th and 1st amendment.

      Though it shouldn't matter, I am a southern baptist law student who sees the need for the separation of church and state.

    47. Elizabeth, Utah says:

      John Wayne once said that he may not agree with what you say but he would defend to the death your right to say it.

      One of the great things (or used to be) about this country is the ability to express ones opinion about an issue without fear.

      Whether you agree with same sex marriage or not, we must give others the right to express their opinions (though I believe some of us could do it with a little more compassion and grace) whether we agree with them or not.

    48. Mike, CA says:

      People need to stop using examples about restaurants. Read this quote from Robin Fretwell Wilson:

      "Some say that the bind same-sex marriage places religious individuals and organizations in comes from state anti-discrimination laws. These laws, passed years before same-sex marriage, address commercial services like driving taxis and ordering burgers, where denials are nothing more than gay-animus.

      But marriage is different. For many people, marriage is a religious institution and wedding ceremonies are a religious sacrament. For them, assisting with marriage ceremonies has religious significance that ordering burgers and driving taxis simply do not. Many of these people have no objection generally to providing services, but they would object to directly facilitating a marriage. Without explicit protection in Maine’s law, many will be faced with a cruel choice: your conscience or your livelihood. "

      http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/125681.html

    49. bones81 says:

      Where are the brains of humans. I would love to see Adam or Steve give birth. God does not make mistakes, you are either man or woman and meant to be fruitful and multiply, not act out your fantasies as gay or lesbian. I feel sorry for each of you who have no concept of human nature and why God made a man and woman. This is not a disease or sickness, it is just a stupid way of showing that you do not like yourself at all. Get with the program.

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