Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Protecting Religious Liberty in a Same-Sex "Marriage" Country

Given recent comments by Justice Anthony Kennedy, I'm not so sure that nationwide same-sex "marriage" is as inevitable in the short run as many of its proponents seem to hope. But I do believe it is unavoidable in the long run, and that - as I have written many times in the past (see links below) - the Church will suffer a loss of religious freedom at the very least, and even suffer outright persecution in some form, as a result.

A trio of legal minds (including Prof. Doug Laycock of my alma mater, UVA, who was lead counsel on the Hosanna-Tabor case) argue, wrongly in my view, that SSM is constitutionally protected under the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, but also argue, rightly in my view, that the Supreme Court needs to concern itself with the implications of such a ruling for religious liberty:

I understand that the Catholic bishops are a bit preoccupied at the moment, but they and other religious leaders who are worried about the implications of same-sex marriage for religious liberty should make time to read the amicus brief filed last Thursday by the American Jewish Committee in the Supreme Court’s Proposition 8/DOMA case. It shows them the way forward in a country where, sooner rather than later, SSM will be the law of the land.

Let it be noted that the brief is a Protestant-Catholic-Jewish affair, written by three of the most respected advocates of religious liberty in the American legal community: (Protestant) Douglas Laycock of the University of Virginia Law School, who served as lead counsel in last year’s Hosanna-Tabor ministerial exception case; (Catholic) Thomas C. Berg of the University of St. Thomas Law School, a prolific author who has done legal work for the archdiocese of Chicago; and (Jewish) Marc Stern, associate general counsel of the American Jewish Committee, who played a key role in drafting the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Agree or disagree with the outcome for which they argue, the arguments they make on behalf of protecting religious liberty in their amicus brief should be of interest to Catholics who desire to remain faithful to the timeless teachings of our faith in a nation increasingly moving to secularism and hostility toward religion.

Here is a direct link to the amicus brief.

Here is a post on this topic at Mirror of Justice from a couple of weeks ago.

Looks like I'm late to the game in discussing this (which I suppose is always a risk when one cuts back on the amount of blogging one does).

Hat tip: Rick Garnett.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject: 
Outside the Asylum: "How the Next Civil War Will Begin"

Archbishop Chaput: "Systematic Discrimination Against Church Now Seems Inevitable"

Pope Critical of Labour’s "Unjust" Equality Laws Ahead of UK Visit

Same-Sex "Marriage" and Religious Liberty

Bork Predicts “Terrible Conflict” Will Endanger U.S. Catholics’ Religious Freedom

Same-Sex "Marriage" and the Persecution of Civil Society

InsideCatholic on "The Unintended Consequences of Gay Marriage"

Secularist Attacks on the Catholic Church in Britain

Regular Guy Paul on What's Next for Same-Sex "Marriage"

Catholic Provocation?

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

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