Gay Marriage Advocates Miss the Boat ... Again
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Many gay marriage advocates are up in arms over the General Assembly’s passage of a civil union billed signed into law by Governor Chafee this past week.
Many gay marriage supporters criticized civil unions as discriminatory. In particular, MERI opposed language in the new law that allows religious hospitals, cemeteries and schools to refuse to recognize the rights granted through civil unions. Sullivan said his group will urge lawmakers to repeal the religious exemption.
I find this really funny. Gay marriage advocates are oft quoted saying that by not allowing people of the same sex to marry the state is barring them from a civil right – marriage – that should be free to all. As I’ve explained before, gay marriage is not the same thing as the civil rights struggle. With this issue, you are changing the definition of a cultural norm into something else. Some of you will agree or disagree with this notion, but what concerns me today is gay marriage advocates touting their ‘rights’ but ignoring the rights of others.
The US constitution provides for freedom of religion. Religious freedom is more foundational than voting rights, property rights, and many rights we couldn’t live without today. The country’s early makeup was that of persecuted religious sects who were seeking a place to worship in piece. When these sects came together to form a union they revered everyone’s right to practice their religion freely without persecution or an overbearing hand of the government.
Gay marriage advocates who have vehemently come out against the Corvese amendment are making a mockery of their position and the Constitution. Again, gay marriage advocates who are calling for the repeal of the religious exemption are making a mockery of their efforts to gain their ‘civil rights’.
On one hand they are telling us to allow them their civil right to marry whomever they want to marry making the claim that the state has a responsibility to honor marriages between any two people. While I don’t agree with this, it’s at least got some logic behind it. But this position is completely undermined by their disregard of groups that disagree with them on religious grounds as they seek to undermine other groups’ ability to practice their religion.
In essence, they are making the claim that their rights are more important than others. And as I’ve said, far too often this mentality or disposition is what I have seen from gay marriage advocates. Many gay marriage advocates just miss the boat in that they don’t seem to respect a person’s right to believe differently from them based on religious ideals.
All the talk is about ‘equality’ and ‘rights’ but it’s their equality and rights as they define them. I hope Rhode Islanders will defend the rights of all without the trampling of one groups over another’s. I don’t believe there is an intrinsic right to marriage for any two people who want to marry, but I certainly believe that every citizen has the right to practice whatever religion they so chose. Many gay marriage advocates, apparently, don’t agree.
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