I’ve talked quite a bit about same-sex marriage and its current progression through different states and courts. However, today I’d like to look at a different standpoint. This article referenced from hotair.com talks about the struggles happening within the states who have recently begun to (or are preparing to) issue same-sex marriage licenses. It focuses on the ministers and churches in these states that don’t agree with the state’s decision, and have religious objections to gay marriage. I can understand this, as someone who grew up in a religious family. The city/state is threatening legal ramifications to those who refuse to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Although typically very opinionated and up-front, I find I’m stuck in the middle on this issue. On one hand, forcing a religious leader to act in a way that is contrary to their beliefs seems incredibly questionable, convoluted even. The Everson vs Board of Education ruling defined the “establishment of religion” clause of the first amendment by stating:
“Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance….In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.”
This is what makes this so questionable to me.
On the other hand, same-sex couples have been awarded the right to marry in the state that this is occurring in (Idaho). They shouldn’t be discriminated against, as cited in the article. Idaho has a “non-discrimination” ordinance that provides for these types of situations. It’s specific to LGBT protections, and this city is one of only 7 cities in Idaho that hold one. These types of ordinances and provisions are incredibly important to the safety and incorporation of LGBTQ people into everyday society. It removes some of the fear attached to being open about your sexual orientation. It also provides for less gray-area in situations like this.
So like I said, I find myself able to see and relate to both sides of this issue. I see legal backing on both types of opinions. I don’t know that I have an answer to how this should work out, or how it will. I do know that it’s one of many confusing things we will have to work through as America continues to change its laws regarding same-sex marriage.