Monday, May 29, 2006

Could this be the worst ever argument against same-sex marriage?

Maggie Gallagher, who heads the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, says opponents of gay marriage will be treated like racists if it is declared a civil right. She predicted that churches will be tempted to "mute" their marriage theology to stay out of trouble.

Or is it this?

The president of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says churches and Christian schools that oppose gay marriage will face government pressure if it's legalized.

Anthony Picarello says they could be barred from firing employees with same-sex spouses, forced to give them marital benefits, or lose charitable and property tax exemptions if they refuse.
1. This isn't Christianity. This is Phariseeism.

2. It is not clear to me why a religious organisation should be granted exemptions from tax law or employment law. If a racist boss can't fire an employee with a non-white spouse, a religious employer shouldn't be allowed to fire employees with same-sex spouses.

Having said that, homosexuality has been legal for years, and church-run organisations and schools are still allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

3. When we talk about legalising same-sex marriage, we're actually talking about state-sponsored marriage. Churches will not be legally required to make any sort of alteration whatsoever to their own marriage ceremonies. Gallagher is obviously concerned that one of the effects of legalising gay marriage is that it will increasingly come to be seen as normal by a significant percentage of the population, and the churches will be increasingly isolated. My message to Gallagher is this: tough.