May 15, 2008

Simple, really

Seeking to preserve by State statute the allegedly "sacred" nature of marriage as defined in the Book of Deuteronomy is not a compelling government interest.* Why do conservative Republicans insist that it's all about the gay bum sex? It's like they're obsessed with it or something. That doesn't seem natural.

* It's not even a rational one.


Tom said...

My question is ... will people be able to use these rulings as a way to force churches to perform gay weddings (even if their teachings run contradictory to doing so) and if they don't, they can/will face legal implications?

Emily said...

I doubt it. Are churches subject to fair hiring practice regulations? Or can they discriminate on the basis of someone's faith? Can they do the same in deciding whether or not to perform someone's wedding ceremony?

If so, it could reasonably be said that they may discriminate when deciding whether or not to perform such a ceremony for a gay couple.

Federal and state equal protection laws should have nothing to do with the church, and vice versa. See how that works?

Tom said...

I'm certainly not comforted by the language you've used. "Doubt it", "reasonably be said", and "should have" all leave room for interpretation. That, in turn, leaves room for rulings which are not favorable.

As a scientist I've learned to essentially remove the words "all", "never", "always" (and the like) from my vocabulary. However, should that be the case for law, because saying "I doubt it" isn't saying "That can never happen", and when it comes to beliefs and practices that people hold dear "I doubt it" isn't going to cut it. Which is why things like this will continue to be put forward.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. We should positively, actively, definitely discriminate against gays, because otherwise, even though all current analogies make the prospect risible, we can't rule out to a mathematical certainty that a church somewhere won't have to do something it doesn't like.

Blake said...

The fact is, with law, you just never know. Overeating Twinkies as a successful defense to murder still seems ludicrous, yet there it is.

The California court articulated an equal right to marriage for all people. That's a long way from articulating a legal right to marriage for all people from any authority they choose. Given that marriage is readily available at the courthouse, the fact that any given church does not offer it to select people doesn't seem to me to create legal damages. Just because you can't get matter in a particular place doesn't mean you can't get married.

Perhaps, if a church were inconsistent--i.e., admitted gay people as full participants in their communion, but denied them the full benefits, such as marriage--a person might be able to argue that they had to get married in that church and were being denied that privilege. But that's total speculation on my part.

Tom said...

Anonymous - I never said we should actively discriminate. As far as I know, California already had a pretty favorable policy on gay unions. They just called them "civil unions". With this, it appears ... at least to this lay person ... that by forcing the issue of what the unions are called (i.e., they must be called marriages because otherwise it creates this "separate but equal" issue) it now steps into what many probably fear is going to be intrusion into religion.

I'm all for "civil unions". What I'm not for is government telling churches who they must dispense sacraments to.

Emily said...

Plus it should be noted that I'm not a judge, so the language I use in any debate cannot be used to make or break any legal arguments, I don't think.

No matter how much I might want it to be true.