The Gay Marriage Waters Are Getting Muddier …
Heavy hitters in the religious arena – the Mormon Church, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics & Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and even my people, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are asking the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis of tradition and religious freedom to uphold Utah’s right to not allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Previously, Utah courts had sanctioned SSM but the state intervened, throwing the court decision into appeal purgatory. Obviously, if the high court takes this one on, its decision could have wide spread implications across the country, not just in Utah.
My view on all this?
1. Marriage is a secular contract issued by states. Any religious ceremonies attached are simply icing on the wedding cake. The marriage license is all that counts.
2. No one says any religious affiliation has to recognize a SSM or even officiate over one; there I side with the groups and their religious values. But there are plenty of churches and temples that do embrace gay marriages and frankly, as far as the heavy hitters are concerned, it’s none of their fucken business. Again, we are talking about a secular institution.
True, since licenses are issued on the state level, we all know the power struggles going on in many states on this point, but given the Supreme Court’s ruling last year that our constitutional rights as citizens supersede states’ rights should mean that we will ultimately win out.
Ah, but not so fast. For what may muddy the waters is the Court’s ruling this spring that employers with strong religious bends do not have to include family planning and abortion benefits in the health care packages they offer their employees.
Are the heavy hitters using this crack in the dam to reopen the whole religious stance on gays and marriage?
Sure as hell sounds like it.