Mary - posted on 02/11/2011 ( 54 moms have responded )
My state is currently in the process of debating legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages. This past weeks, activists on both sides of the issue have flooded the state capital to have their say on the bill, which is entitled the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. Although similar bills have come before the senate before, this is the first time there are a fair number of senators who support it, and even opponents of the bill concede that it actually has a shot at passing.
My question is not really about the morality of homosexuality or "allowing" gay marriages, but more about the validity of some of the opponent's arguments and concerns. The following is an excerpt from the Balitmore Sun's article about this:
....The legislation would repeal a 38-year-old provision in Maryland law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The two-page bill includes a section saying that religious institutions would not be compelled to perform same-sex marriages.
But opponents said those protections are inadequate. They say the bill would do nothing to shield businesses or individuals who want to steer clear of aiding such ceremonies.
Senate Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs gave the example of a small wedding cake business that might not want to provide confections for a gay marriage. Another example was a hypothetical court clerk whose religious convictions might make him or her unable to issue a marriage certificate to a gay couple...
I'm fine with allowing churches the ability to refuse to conduct these ceremonies, but saying that a court clerk should have the right to refuse to do their job and issue a marriage license because it offends his/her morality??? What if her morality is also offended by interracial marriages, or a marriage where one partner is divorced?
I'm left wondering why a state senator thinks it is "okay" for a state employee to refuse to provide any service to a resident just because their personal religious convictions may conflict with who or what that resident is.