InsideCatholic on "The Unintended Consequences of Gay Marriage"
Ronald J. Rychlak, associate dean and MDLA Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law, writes at InsideCatholic:
...What about a priest or minister who similarly refuses to preside at such ceremonies? Obviously the state can't fire such people, but it is easy to foresee other sanctions -- such as loss of tax benefits -- being imposed on churches. After all, if gay marriage truly is no different from traditional marriage, by what justification can the government give preferential treatment to an entity that discriminates?
Just last year, two women filed a complaint in New Jersey because they were denied use of a pavilion for their civil union ceremony. The pavilion was owned by a Methodist ministry. It had been rented out for marriages, but the ministry refused to rent it for civil unions because it is a religious structure, and civil unions are not recognized in the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline. Due to the ministry's refusal to rent it for the lesbian ceremony, New Jersey revoked its tax-free status.
Perhaps the most notorious example of a state forcing its view on a church agency comes from Massachusetts, where Boston Catholic Charities ran an adoption agency that had been placing children with families for over 100 years. In 2006, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley announced that the agency would abandon its founding mission rather than submit to a state law requiring it to place children with homosexual couples. (A Vatican document from 2003 described gay adoptions as ''gravely immoral.")
A potentially greater threat is that government agencies will try to change church teachings. It is already happening in other nations. The Catholic Church, for instance, teaches that homosexual inclination is a "tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, Canada, was investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for doing little more than writing about this teaching in a newspaper column. Åke Green, pastor of a Pentacostalist church in Sweden, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to a month in prison for a sermon that insulted homosexuals.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Secularist Attacks on the Catholic Church in Britain
Regular Guy Paul on What's Next for Same-Sex "Marriage"
Federal Judge: Catholic Church’s Position Against Homosexual Adoptions Justifies Government Hostility Towards Church
San Francisco's Hateful Anti-Catholic Resolution Prompts Lawsuit by Thomas More Center
Catholic League Says Gay Adoption Issue Spurring Anti-Catholic Bigotry
9th Circuit Rules Okay to Censor Terms "Marriage" and "Family Values" as Hate Speech
UK Catholic Schools Endangered by Sexual Orientation Regulations
Official Anti-Catholic Bigotry Returns to British Parliament
"A Charter for Suing Christians"
A Catholic Londoner on "The Last Acceptable Prejudice"
British Bishops: U.K. Sex Equality Law "Threatens Catholic Adoption Agencies"
UK: Churches "Could be Forced to Bless Gay Weddings"
The Coming Persecution of Churches Over "Gay Marriage"
The Coming Conflict Between Same-Sex "Marriage" and Religious Liberty