The Lead:“Religious-rights advocates argue that the Constitution affords people the right to abstain from a ceremony that violates their religious beliefs. ‘It’s an evisceration of our freedom of association'” said John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage.
Supporters of gay marriage argue that the businesses objecting to working on same-sex ceremonies face an uphill battle, as courts are likely to view the cases as a matter of civil rights. They say the U.S. Supreme Court has already addressed the issues in question on several occasions when it rejected arguments against laws requiring businesses to serve African-Americans.
‘This really isn’t a new fight,’ said Jennifer Pizer, a director with Lambda Legal, a nonprofit civil-rights organization that advocates on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the right to marry.”
Why it Matters: For all the promises made that the redefinition of marriage will have no impact on the culture – save that it will make it a better, more tolerant society – the experience of reality is quite different.
In the real world, the conflict between religious liberty and same-sex marriage requires religious liberty to bend to the more culturally enlightened idea of what has become the ultimate end of gender equity. This is a world in which the freedom to worship within the of run walls of one’s church may be permitted, but the expression of the beliefs taught within that house of worship cannot be expressed outwardly – eviscerating one of the most cherished principles of the First Amendment: the free exercise of religion.
Of course, even believing such things, regardless of the outward expression of the same belief, is sufficient for some to conclude that harm has been done to those who do not believe in the same manner. This leaves us to wonder: what is left of religious liberty in America?
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