Same Sex Marriage & Discrimination

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Religious Freedom Vs. Discrimination in Same-Sex Marriages

The latest developments in the same-sex marriage issue have raised the issue of discrimination.  If a Christian business person refuses services for a same-sex marriage, is he guilty of discrimination?  The LGBT group argues that it is discrimination and those who refuse them wedding services should be prosecuted.  On the other hand Christians argue it is not discrimination but the exercise of their right of freedom of religion.  So who is right on this matter?

First of all, historically the practice of freedom of religion has always been accompanied with the freedom to deny access of services to others of different religious faiths.   For example, a Mormon would not be allowed to teach in a Baptist Christian School nor would a Baptist be allowed to conduct a Catholic Mass.  This practice, once labeled “tolerance,” called for respect for the religious freedoms of others without having to embrace their practices and convictions.  Unfortunately, many of the religious gay persuasion, are unwilling to show respect for the religious convictions of those who disagree.  Emboldened by the recent court rulings and the support of pro-active judges they seek not to show respect but rather to rob the religious freedoms of others.  It is for this reason these laws are now needed to protect our religious freedom.

Secondly, laws against discrimination have never been allowed to trump religious freedom.  For example, gender discrimination laws are not binding on congregations and denominations.  Many groups do not allow women to serve in leadership positions or as pastors in their churches or organizations.  The government has recognized that following their religious dictates is not a form of discrimination.  With this precedence in place, the same should be true in regards to the gay lifestyle and same-sex marriage.  Thus if a Christian baker refuses to bake a same-sex wedding cake on religious convictions it should not be seen as discrimination but the exercise of religious freedom.  However, because those in authority refuse to honor this established Precedence,  laws are needed to protect every American’s right to pursue his religious conscience. 

Thirdly, the Herald argues that such laws open the door for greater religious discrimination in other areas as well.  To quote, “This is just wrong, opening the door for these places to refuse to serve Jews or Muslims or Buddhists.”   Actually, without the passage of this law the Herald’s fear of growing religious discrimination will become a present reality.  If a business owner is forced to provide service for a same-sex marriage, how long will it take before the state starts to force the same on religious institutions?  Without protection I see the day coming where I as a pastor could be arrested for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.  How long will it be before a same-sex couple sues a church for not allowing them to use their building or grounds for a wedding?   Already a same-sex couple is suing a Christian school for not letting their children attend.  On Tuesday (Feb. 3), a federal court ruled that a Mennonite couple, who ran a marriage retreat, had to either to accept same-sex marriages or pay a heavy fine.  Based on their religious convictions their only alternative was to close.

Fourthly, this whole issue is not really about discrimination.  This is really about the gay movement’s effort at forcing their religious convictions upon those who religiously disagree with them.  Let me illustrate my point.  A same-sex couple is refused a cake at a bakery because of the owner’s religious convictions about same-sex marriage.  Does this mean they will not be able to have a cake?  Are there no other bakeries they can turn too?  Sure there are!  So why not respect the views of the bakery owner and go someplace else?  That would be the sensible thing to do.  However, in order to force others to embrace their religious beliefs, some gays feel the need to sue the bakery, forcing them to either capitulate or go out of business.  This has already happened in many places in the United States.  How childish!  That bakery would not turn them down for a cake for a birthday party, donuts for work, or bread for a meal.  They simply ask them to respect their religious convictions and find another baker for this one occasion.  That doesn’t sound like discrimination to me.  I am mature enough to accept the fact that others may not agree with me.  I would not seek to destroy someone’s lively hood simply because they believe differently than I do.  However, not only is this happening all too frequently but the pro-active judges are enabling same-sex couples to do so.  It is for this reason we need this law to protect our religious freedom before it is too late!