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The Left's War On Christians
See other The Left's War On Christians Articles

Title: Will Churches Be Forced To Conduct Gay Weddings?
Source: www.slate.com
URL Source: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_ ... on_t_be_forced_to_conduct.html
Published: Jun 29, 2015
Author: Emily Bazelon
Post Date: 2015-06-29 13:51:18 by CZ82
Keywords: None
Views: 3920
Comments: 27

Will Churches Be Forced To Conduct Gay Weddings?

Not a chance. That’s just the scare tactic conservative groups use to frighten voters.

By Emily Bazelon

Last June, Denmark’s parliament passed a law requiring churches to conduct gay marriage ceremonies. Priests can opt out, but if they do, the local bishop has to find a replacement to conduct the ceremony. When Maryland voters legalized gay marriage in November, a conservative friend sent me a link to the Denmark story to explain why he’d voted against his state’s ballot initiative. He says gay marriage doesn’t bother him, but he’s convinced that as it takes root, churches and other religious institutions will be forced to embrace it. Emily Bazelon Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones.

This objection makes me apoplectic. We are not Denmark! We have a deep-rooted, constitutional division between church and state and an equally deep-rooted constitutional protection of freedom of religion, which make us different from any other country. And the history of how our courts and government have safeguarded those religious rights weigh definitively on the side of allowing churches to refuse to perform weddings for gay couples for as long as they so choose. I’m not saying it’s a good thing for churches to do that. I’m saying that the law balances the civil rights of gay people against the civil rights of religious groups—and in that contest, the churches (and mosques and synagogues) win.

In theory, the government could direct the behavior of churches by mandating that they perform gay unions or punishing those who don’t by denying them benefits—in particular, tax-exempt status. After all, religious institutions rely on not paying taxes, so this is important to them. But the government has never used either power to tell religious groups who they have to marry. “After the Supreme Court struck down state bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, there was never the suggestion that private religious groups that wouldn’t perform interracial marriages would be shut down,” Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow points out. “Or lose their tax-exempt status.” ADVERTISING

In a 2007 article in the Boston College Law Review, Minow asked this key question: “How can a pluralistic society commit to both equality and tolerance of religious differences?” The answer, she argued, lies in exactly how we create exemptions to civil rights laws for religious groups. She showed how this unfolded historically. After Loving, the Internal Revenue Service started denying tax exemptions to private schools in Mississippi that discriminated against blacks. At the time, Bob Jones University, in South Carolina, did not admit African Americans because it saw the Bible as barring interracial dating and marriage. In the 1970s, Bob Jones started letting in black applicants but said that students who dated or married across racial lines would be expelled. The IRS decided that the school would lose its tax exemption. Congress introduced 13 bills to overturn the IRS decision, Minow writes, but none passed. In 1982, the Supreme Court sided with the IRS against Bob Jones. The court said that the government’s interest in eradicating racial discrimination was fundamental and that trumped Bob Jones’ claim that the IRS was interfering with its exercise of freedom of religion.

And on this single point—religious institutions can’t discriminate on the basis of race and remain tax exempt—the courts have held fast, because on this issue the country has reached a consensus. Minow points out that Chief Justice John Roberts said he supported the court’s Bob Jones decision at his 2005 confirmation hearing. Neither party wants to defend blatant racial discrimination any longer. In fact, Bob Jones ended its ban on interracial dating a decade ago. (The university hasn’t reapplied for its tax exemption, but an affiliated academy and museum are tax exempt.)

But the same rule most decidedly does not apply to religious groups that discriminate against women or gay people. In 2002, a woman named Susan Rockwell challenged the tax exemption of the Catholic Church because it doesn’t allow women to become priests. She lost. That’s because of the “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws. Churches, synagogues, and mosques get to pick their clergy, end of story. Actually, their exemption to sex-discrimination laws extends much further, to a Catholic school that fired a pregnant, unmarried teacher and even to a Christian school that turned down a teaching applicant because she had school-aged children. The churches affiliated with the Christian school decreed that mothers shouldn’t work outside the home. And that was enough to trump this woman’s employment rights—an exception you could drive a truck through, if you ask me. But the Supreme Court let it stand.

In cases like these brought by gay people, the first question is whether state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, because federal law does not. So in Kentucky, which has no such law, a Baptist social-services agency was allowed to fire a therapist for being a lesbian. I’m happy to say I don’t think this would fly in the 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that do protect the rights of gay people. But remember, we are still a long way from churches being forced to marry gay couples or hire gay ministers. We’re talking about teachers and social workers who work for religiously affiliated institutions—in states that have chosen to protect them from discrimination.

When states have laws that prohibit anti-gay discrimination in spaces open to the public, they generally exempt “actual places of worship, the organizations they operate, and certain private organizations,” according to this 2012 law review article. So it’s true that in 2007, New Jersey denied a tax exemption to a boardwalk pavilion in Ocean Grove owned by a Methodist group after two lesbian couples were rejected when they asked to hold civil union ceremonies there. But this was a beachfront property, not a church—and 99 percent of the group’s land, taken as a whole, retained its tax exemption.

That’s why the story of an anti-discrimination ordinance in the city of Hutchinson, Kansas, makes me sad. When the law was proposed last spring, religious groups railed that it would require churches to rent buildings to gay couples “for drag parties.” In fact, said Chad Graber, executive board member of the Hutchinson chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, this could only have occurred if a church made a building publicly available—if it opened up a banquet hall, for example, as a public space rather than only renting it to members. Because of the backlash, the city council reworked the proposal, leaving out public spaces entirely, and in June put into effect only limited protections against being fired or evicted for being gay. (The council also took transgender people off the LGBT list.)

But by then, a battle was raging. A group called Awaken Kansas campaigned to torpedo the measure in the November election. “They told people pastors would have to perform gay marriages,” Graber told me. “The churches were completely exempt, but they used it as a scare tactic.” In November, local voters rejected the ordinance.

It’s just wrong to spook voters about gay rights by arguing that gay people are coming for their churches. It’s not gonna happen. Not just as a tactical matter, but also as a legal one. If that ever changes, it will be because we’re as united about the pernicious nature of anti-gay discrimination as we are about racial discrimination. Or until no one wants to belong to a church that doesn’t perform same-sex weddings, any more than they’d want to be in a church that forbids interracial ceremonies. Maybe we should be there. But I don’t need to tell you we’re not.

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#1. To: All (#0)

#11. To: redleghunter, Liberator (#2)

AFA strongly urges your church and other Christian ministries to consider three recommendations immediately: • Adopt a clear statement of faith regarding human sexuality and marriage. • Clarify that weddings in your church are Christian worship services. • Adopt a policy that clearly restricts the use of ministry facilities to the ministry’s religious purposes.

Some basic common sense stuff that will keep Christians from getting sued IMO.

So then they'll go after the church's tax exempt status.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82 posted on 2015-06-27 10:36:08 ET Reply Trace Private Reply

In theory, the government could direct the behavior of churches by mandating that they perform gay unions or punishing those who don’t by denying them benefits—in particular, tax-exempt status. After all, religious institutions rely on not paying taxes, so this is important to them. But the government has never used either power to tell religious groups who they have to marry. “After the Supreme Court struck down state bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, there was never the suggestion that private religious groups that wouldn’t perform interracial marriages would be shut down,” Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow points out. “Or lose their tax-exempt status.”

My that didn't take long...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82  posted on  2015-06-29   13:52:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: CZ82 (#0)

"I’m saying that the law balances the civil rights of gay people against the civil rights of religious groups—and in that contest, the churches (and mosques and synagogues) win."

Bullshit.

Ask the bakery shops and wedding photographers. They lost.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-29   13:59:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: CZ82 (#0)

Title: Will Churches Be Forced To Conduct Gay Weddings?

Yes.

Kennedy hinted at this in upcoming cases when he said churches would retain the right to debate gay marriage. He said nothing about refusing to marry anyone.

However, there are a few ways around this.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   14:11:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: CZ82 (#0)

And religious organizations will not be forced to give abortion pill coverage to their employees . And Christian adoption services won't be forced to adopt to same sex couples. And pizzerias won't have to shut down because the owner says he won't cater same sex marriages . And florists and bakers won't be forced to sell their goods for ceremonies they find morally objectionable .

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

tomder55  posted on  2015-06-29   14:55:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: CZ82, tomder55, liberator, GarySpFc (#0)

Will Churches Be Forced To Conduct Gay Weddings?

Not a chance. That’s just the scare tactic conservative groups use to frighten voters.

Ok let's 'play' with that statement a bit. 15-10 years ago people said the following:

"Will States be forced to accept Gay marriage?"

"Not a chance. That's just the scare tactic conservative groups use to frighten voters. Heck there's this Defense of Marriage Act and all..."

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-29   15:00:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: TooConservative, CZ82, liberator, GarySpFc, Vicomte13, tomder55, BobCeleste (#3)

Title: Will Churches Be Forced To Conduct Gay Weddings? Yes.

Kennedy hinted at this in upcoming cases when he said churches would retain the right to debate gay marriage. He said nothing about refusing to marry anyone.

However, there are a few ways around this.

Some application here. Before the court's decision last week I was informed by a co-worker of things going on in his non-denominational Christian church.

His pastor was faced with a gay couple coming forward wanting their son to be 'dedicated' before the church. Apparently the decision was made to do so, as the child was the focus and not the couple. Some wrangling about where in the church it should be done etc. was the main debate.

I asked a few questions to my co-worker as we developed a rapport. I first asked if the gay parents were church members? He could not answer that question. He said certain events were open to all in his church. I then asked if they were present at communion (The Lord's Supper) and other affirming membership events. He did not think so as there are a few services and he never saw them there.

So the issue from the above is how some churches define their membership or congregants. Do they just open the doors and not engage those showing up?

I know some churches have public events to open the Gospel to all to hear. That's great. But most churches will draw the line of church membership with baptism and the Lord's Supper (communion). IMO we have too many social clubs that call themselves churches. As some have opined here, "the more that come in the door, more money to fix the roof." Or worse...to help pay the pastor's salary.

I think one should ask the question "Who is really in your church?"

Now, of course churches minister to people struggling with sin. However, they are not to promote or embrace the sin for PC reasons. Seems to be happening to my co-worker's church. Now they are debating gay marriage....As of today he is shaking the dust off this sandals looking for another church.

So in many cases the government will not have to 'force' some churches to change their ways from traditional marriage...they will do it gladly...all for the wrong reasons.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-29   15:27:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: CZ82 (#0)

On the face of it,the answer is "No,not a chance".

The reality is it's going to be done and the goobermint isn't going to have to force any of the religious cults to fall in line because they are already bought and paid for with federal contracts and tax-exempt status. ALL the government has to do is quietly notify the ruling council of any that if they refuse to do this all their contracts to provide services to to poor (that they are supposed to be doing for free anyhow)will be canceled,and that they will lost their tax-free charity status for non-compliance with government regulations.

The various churches/synagogs/temples/mosques/dog kennels,etc,etc,etc will fall all over themselves to comply.

Years ago when Willie Brown was running San Francisco the city council passed a regulation requiring any company that had city contracts had to provide the same family benefits to unmarried and/or same sex couples they paid to married heterosexual employees or lose the contracts.

The Archdiocese of SF filed a suit to block this claiming to do so would violate their religious beliefs,and the court ruling was basically,"Fine,they don't apply for city contracts. Nobody is forcing you to bid on them against your will. Comply or lose the money."

Since at that time (well over a decade ago) the Catholic Church in SF was pulling in FIVE MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR in city contracts they suddenly decided doing that wouldn't violate their religious beliefs at all,and they started paying unmarried and homosexual couples marriage benefits.

Imagine that.

BTW,AFAIK there was no reporting on how much the other cults of all faiths were pulling in from city contracts. The Catholic Church took the lead because they were pulling in the most money,and the others seemed to have just set back and waited to see what would happen.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2015-06-29   19:45:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: CZ82 (#0)

So far the response that I've seen from Orthodox Christian clergy is to announce that they will no longer sign any sort of government marriage license / certificate.

My own parish Priest announced that he had been instructed by our Bishop to "revert to the Church's marriage practices prior to the Edict of Milan", i.e. conduct the Marriage Sacrament in regards to government regulations in the same manner as the Church did so prior to St. Constantine issuing his Edict which ended the official government pagan persecution of the Church.

In other words, parishioners seeking to get married would need to go to a Justice of the Peace or similar process for a government-recognized marriage, and then come to the Church for the Sacrament of Marriage.

Unlike the situation with the problem that Redleghunter described in regards to a particular non-denominational Church not necessarily having a clear definition of who is a member, the Orthodox Church has extensive Canon Law in regards to who is a member and what the requirements are to receive the Marriage Sacrament. There obviously are not any "gay marriages", since the entire idea of such a thing is a pretty modern one.

But for my various Protestant friends in the forums, if your pastor has not yet devised a strategy to deal with this problem, hopefully the above might engender some ideas. In some cases, they might need to go into some uncomfortable territory if they are of the "non-creedal" sort of congregation, but at least to me it seems to be the clearest way to lessen the chance of a successful lawsuit by the Gaystappo by simply making it plain that your Church is only offering a spiritual service and that people seeking the legal benefits of a government sanctioned wedding will need to do that separately from the Church's blessing of the marriage.

In the long run, it might save such congregations additional headaches if they make it plain what the Biblical standards for a Christian wedding are as well -- and that will mean on occasion even a straight couple might get a "no" from the pastor if they are not being obedient to God's teachings on the matter and unwilling to repent.

Orthodoxa  posted on  2015-06-29   20:58:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Orthodoxa (#8)

So far the response that I've seen from Orthodox Christian clergy is to announce that they will no longer sign any sort of government marriage license / certificate.

And there was never any real requirement to sign a secular, government required marriage license.

buckeroo  posted on  2015-06-29   21:11:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: buckeroo (#9)

And there was never any real requirement to sign a secular, government required marriage license.

Indeed not, but Obama's actions still are intended to and still will cause widespread damage.

1) In some cases where it isn't clear as to who is a member / eligible for marriage, some congregations will still potentially be open to lawsuits.

2) Some congregations might choose to openly defy Obama's dictates with the intention of the pastor / members being hauled off to court.

3) It reverses what was the norm for millennia. Christian marriages will be the "unofficial" ones while "gay marriages" will be immediately recognized as official by the government. It will send the long-term message to folks in society who equate "government-recognized" with virtuous that it is the perverted ceremonies that are the virtuous ones.

4) The Left will use this as a stepping stone to enact gay adoption, and teaching in public schools that sodomy is something good.

5) As is already becoming apparent on places like Facebook as well as what happened in Canada after they created "gay marriage" there, it will soon be all but treated as a "hate crime" to simply repeat what Christianity has always taught about this.

Orthodoxa  posted on  2015-06-29   21:30:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Orthodoxa (#10)

The entire idea is separation of church and state.

If a homosexual couple can not abide by a church's covenant or operate within their belief system, they can be denied marriage rites because of that fact. The US government or other governments can not compel marriage within a church against the dictates of a church as it is contrary to the first paragraph of my post.

It can not happen in America, PERIOD.

buckeroo  posted on  2015-06-29   21:46:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: buckeroo (#11)

It can not happen in America, PERIOD.

Correction: It cannot happen in America when the politicians are restrained by law and the Constitution.

From immigration to various other issues, Obama has already demonstrated overwhelmingly that he does not and will not obey the law or abide by the Constitution. And the GOP has made it pretty clear that they will only offer token resistance in the form of speeches, photo-ops, and similar stunts with no true substance.

The Supreme Court just ruled today that states cannot require proof of citizenship for voting. America is just about finished.

In my own circle, it is pretty telling that various first-generation Orthodox Christians either from the Middle East where they had Muslim persecution or immigrants from former Soviet states seem to be preparing for government- sponsored persecution. They've seen it before, and say it looks like its' going to happen here.

Orthodoxa  posted on  2015-06-29   21:57:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Orthodoxa (#12)

The Supreme Court just ruled today that states cannot require proof of citizenship for voting.

Good post and generally, I agree. Please provide a link about the USSC decision you just announced, as I am not aware of it.

Thanx before I can get around tuit.

buckeroo

buckeroo  posted on  2015-06-29   22:07:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: buckeroo (#13)

Please provide a link about the USSC decision you just announced, as I am not aware of it.

http://www3.atr.rollcall.com/supreme-court-victory-for-voting-rights-advocates/? dcz=

Orthodoxa  posted on  2015-06-29   22:13:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Orthodoxa (#14)

I don't think you understand the detail. Here it is:

Both Kansas and Arizona have state laws that require applicants to prove their citizenship when applying to vote with state forms (for state or federal elections). But the U.S. EAC denied the states’ requests to have their citizenship laws applied when would-be voters use the standardized federal form.

States can not override federal requirements.

buckeroo  posted on  2015-06-29   22:18:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: redleghunter (#6)

So the issue from the above is how some churches define their membership or congregants. Do they just open the doors and not engage those showing up?

I know some churches have public events to open the Gospel to all to hear. That's great. But most churches will draw the line of church membership with baptism and the Lord's Supper (communion). IMO we have too many social clubs that call themselves churches. As some have opined here, "the more that come in the door, more money to fix the roof." Or worse...to help pay the pastor's salary.

Churches will abandon their open-door policy and stop being one-stop shops for weddings and funerals. For weddings, I'd expect they will demand that at least one of the couple be a member in good standing and that the couple receive couples' counseling from their pastor.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   22:19:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: buckeroo (#15)

States can not override federal requirements.

But the actual "realpolitik" result of this ruling is that illegal aliens will have a loophole to use to vote in federal elections, and the court knows this. The Ruling Class desperately wants to replace the American populace with an ignorant and compliant 3rd world population.

It is part of Obama's overall strategy of "cultural cleansing". In the one part of the country that still tends to vote GOP, they are busy tearing down statues and other parts of the history of the past white culture. Those toppled statues won't just remain vacant spaces, they'll be replaced with crap like the Plaza of Mexican Heroes that the government set up in Dallas.

This is coupled with an open assault upon the religious right, and this attack intends to marginise conservative Christians.

And now with wide-open loopholes where Mexican invaders will be able to vote in our elections as long as they just follow the single step of using a federal form instead of a state one, they can transform states like Texas into ones that "vote" just as reliably Democrat as California.

Orthodoxa  posted on  2015-06-29   22:59:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: CZ82 (#0)

[Emily Bazelon] We have a deep-rooted, constitutional division between church and state and an equally deep-rooted constitutional protection of freedom of religion, which make us different from any other country. And the history of how our courts and government have safeguarded those religious rights weigh definitively on the side of allowing churches to refuse to perform weddings for gay couples for as long as they so choose.

We had a deep-rooted separation between homosexuality and marriage until very recently. This could have been put to the people as a proposed constitutional amendment. Such an amendment had little chance of adoption.

[Emily Bazelon] In theory, the government could direct the behavior of churches by mandating that they perform gay unions or punishing those who don’t by denying them benefits—in particular, tax-exempt status.

In practice, they have the power to do that too. In practice, it is more likely to start at the periphery as described by Chief Justice Roberts.

Roberts, CJ, dissenting at 28:

Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example, a reli­gious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowl­edged that the tax exemptions of some religious institu­tions would be in question if they opposed same-sex mar­riage. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 36-38. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.


I start here with the Q&A that Chief Justice Roberts referred back to at 36-38.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/14-556q1_6k47.pdf

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Oral Argument

= = = = = = = = = =

[23]

4 JUSTICE SCALIA: Miss ­­ Miss Bonauto,

5 I'm ­­I'm concerned about the wisdom of this Court

6 imposing through the Constitution a ­­a requirement of

7 action which is unpalatable to many of our citizens for

8 religious reasons. They are not likely to change their

9 view about what marriage consists of. And were ­­were

10 the States to adopt it by law, they could make

11 exceptions to what ­­what is required for same­sex

12 marriage, who has to honor it and so forth.

13 But once it's ­­it's made a matter of

14 constitutional law, those exceptions ­­for example, is

15 it ­­is it conceivable that a minister who is

16 authorized by the State to conduct marriage can decline

17 to marry two men if indeed this Court holds that they

18 have a constitutional right to marry? Is it conceivable

19 that that would be allowed?

20 MS. BONAUTO: Your Honor, of course the

21 Constitution will continue to apply, and right to this

22 day, no clergy is forced to marry any couple that they

23 don't want to marry. We have those protections.

24 JUSTICE SCALIA: But ­­ but right to this

25 day, we have never held that there is a constitutional

- - - - - - - - - -

[24]

1 right for these two people to marry, and the minister is

2 ­­ to the extent he's conducting a civil marriage, he's

3 an instrument of the State. I don't see how you could

4 possibly allow that minister to say, I will only marry a

5 man and a woman. I will not marry two men. Which means

6 you ­­ you would ­­ you could ­­ you could have

7 ministers who ­­ who conduct real marriages that ­­ that

8 are civilly enforceable at the National Cathedral, but

9 not at St. Matthews downtown, because that minister

10 refuses to marry two men, and therefore, cannot be given

11 the State power to make a real State marriage. I don't

12 see any ­­ any answer to that. I really don't.

13 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Counselor, there have

14 been antidiscrimination laws in various States; correct?

15 MS. BONAUTO: Yes, Your Honor.

16 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Antidiscrimination laws

17 regarding gay people.

18 MS. BONAUTO: Correct.

19 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: And in any of those

20 States, have ministers been forced to do gay marriages?

21 MS. BONAUTO: Of course not, Your Honor.

22 And ­­

23 JUSTICE SCALIA: They are laws. They are

24 not constitutional requirements. That was the whole

25 point of my question. If you let the States do it, you

- - - - - - - - - -

[25]

1 can make an exception. The State can say, yes, two men

2 can marry, but ­­ but ministers who do not believe in ­­

3 in same­sex marriage will still be authorized to conduct

4 marriages on behalf of the State. You can't do that

5 once it is a constitutional proscription.

6 MS. BONAUTO: If one thing is firm, and I

7 believe it is firm, that under the First Amendment, that

8 a clergyperson cannot be forced to officiate at a

9 marriage that he or she does not want to officiate at.

10 And since there were several other questions, if I may.

11 JUSTICE SCALIA: He's not being required to

12 officiate. He's just not given the State's power,

13 unless he agrees to use that power in ­­in accordance

14 with the Constitution. I don't ­­ seems to me you

15 have to ­­ you have to make that exception. You can't

16 appoint people who will then go ahead and violate the

17 Constitution.

18 MS. BONAUTO: I think if we're talking about

19 a government individual, a clerk, a judge, who's

20 empowered to authorize marriage, that is a different

21 matter that they are going to have to follow through,

22 unless, again, a State decides to make some exceptions.

23 In Connecticut, after the court permitted marriage, it

24 did actually pass a law to do deal with implementation

25 issues, including these kinds of liberty issues.

- - - - - - - - - -

[26]

1 JUSTICE SCALIA: Because it was a State law.

2 That's my whole my point. If it's a State law, you can

3 make those exceptions. But if it's a constitutional

4 requirement, I don't see how you can. And every State

5 allows ministers to marry people, and their marriages

6 are effective under State law. That will not be the

7 case if, indeed, we hold, as a constitutional matter,

8 that the State must marry two men.

9 JUSTICE KAGAN: Ms. Bonauto, maybe I'm just

10 not understanding Justice Scalia's question, but for

11 example, there are many rabbis that will not conduct

12 marriages between Jews and non­Jews, notwithstanding

13 that we have a constitutional prohibition against

14 religious discrimination. And those rabbis get all the

15 powers and privileges of the State, even if they have

16 that rule, most ­­ many, many, many rabbis won't do

17 that.

18 MS. BONAUTO: That's precisely ­­

19 JUSTICE BREYER: It's called Congress shall

20 make no law respecting the freedom of religion ­­

21 MS. BONAUTO: So, yes ­­

22 JUSTICE BREYER: ­­ but that ­­

23 MS. BONAUTO: ­­ can I ­­

24 JUSTICE BREYER: ­­ it leaves this

25 question

- - - - - - - - - -

[27]

1 MS. BONAUTO: Yes.

2 JUSTICE BREYER: ­­ open?

3 MS. BONAUTO: Yes. And I will just say very

4 briefly ­­

5 JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, you ­­ you ­­

6 MS. BONAUTO: And I need to ­­

7 JUSTICE SCALIA: ­­ you agree with that ­­

8 MS. BONAUTO: ­­ reserve my time, if I may.

9 JUSTICE SCALIA: ­­ then? You agree that ­­

10 that ministers will not have to conduct same­sex

11 marriages?

12 MS. BONAUTO: If they do not want to, that

13 is correct. I believe that is affirmed under the First

14 Amendment.

15 And I will say before I sit down, if I may

16 reserve my time, Your Honor, that in terms of the

17 question of who decides, it's not about the Court versus

18 the States. It's about the individual making the choice

19 to marry and with whom to marry, or the government.

20 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Thank you, counsel.

21 (Interruption.)

22 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: General, would you

23 like to take a moment?

24 GENERAL VERRILLI: I will. Thank you,

25 Mr. Chief Justice.

- - - - - - - - - -

[28]

1 Actually, Mr. Chief Justice, if the Court is

2 ready.

3 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, we're ready.

4 Okay.

5 JUSTICE SCALIA: It was rather refreshing,

6 actually.

7 (Laughter.)

8 ORAL ARGUMENT OF DONALD B. VERRILLI, JR.

9 ON BEHALF OF UNITED STATES, AS AMICUS CURIAE,

10 SUPPORTING PETITIONERS ON QUESTION 1

11 GENERAL VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice, and

12 may it please the Court:

13 The opportunity to marry is integral to

14 human dignity. Excluding gay and lesbian couples from

15 marriage demeans the dignity of these couples. It did

16 demeans their children, and it denies the ­­ both the

17 couples and their children the stabilizing structure

18 that marriage affords.

19 Now, the Respondents' principal argument,

20 and what we've been discussing this morning so far, is

21 whether this issue of ­­ whether this discrimination

22 should persist is something that should be left to the

23 political process or whether it should be something

24 decided by the Court. And I'd like to make three points

25 about that, if I could.

****************************
****************************
****************************

[36]

1 stabilizing structure and the many benefits of marriage.

2 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Counsel, I'd like to

3 follow up in a line of questioning that Justice Scalia

4 started.

5 We have a concession from your friend that

6 clergy will not be required to perform same­sex

7 marriage, but there are going to be harder questions.

8 Would a religious school that has married housing be

9 required to afford such housing to same­sex couples?

10 GENERAL VERRILLI: I guess what I'd ­­ I'd

11 like to make three points about that, if I could,

12 Mr. Chief Justice.

13 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, the first

14 part ­­

15 GENERAL VERRILLI: And I will ­­and I'll go

16 right at the question you asked.

17 The first one is, of course, this Court's

18 ruling addresses what the States must do under the

19 Fourteenth Amendment.

20 And the ­­ and the second point is that when

21 you get to a question like the one Your Honor asked,

22 that is going to depend on how States work out the

23 balance between their civil rights laws, whether they

24 decide that there's going to be civil rights enforcement

25 of discrimination based on sexual orientation or not,

- - - - - - - - - -

[37]

1 and how they decide what kinds of accommodations they

2 are going to allow under State law.

3 And they could well ­­ you know, different

4 states could strike different balances.

5 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: What about

6 Federal ­­ it's a Federal question if we make it a

7 matter of constitutional law.

8 GENERAL VERRILLI: But the question of

9 what ­­ how States use their enforcement power is up to

10 the States.

11 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, you have

12 enforcement power, too.

13 GENERAL VERRILLI: Right. And ­­

14 and ­­ well, that's certainly true, but there is no

15 Federal law now generally banning discrimination based

16 on sexual orientation, and that's where those issues are

17 going to have to be worked out.

18 And I guess the third point I would make,

19 Your Honor, is that these issues are going to arise no

20 matter which way you decide this case, because these

21 questions of accommodation are going to arise in

22 situations in States where there is no same­sex

23 marriage, where there are ­­ and, in fact, they have

24 arisen many times. There ­­ there are these commitment

25 ceremonies.

- - - - - - - - - -

[38]

1 For example, in the New Mexico case in which

2 this Court denied cert just a few months back, that did

3 not arise out of a marriage. That arose out of a

4 commitment ceremony, and the ­­ and these, you know,

5 commitment ceremonies are going to need florists and

6 caterers.

7 JUSTICE ALITO: Well, in the Bob Jones case,

8 the Court held that a college was not entitled to

9 tax­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or

10 interracial dating. So would the same apply to a

11 university or a college if it opposed same­sex marriage?

12 GENERAL VERRILLI: You know, I ­­ I don't

13 think I can answer that question without knowing more

14 specifics, but it's certainly going to be an issue.

15 I ­­ I don't deny that. I don't deny that, Justice

16 Alito. It is ­­ it is going to be an issue.

= = = = = = = = = =

nolu chan  posted on  2015-06-29   23:10:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Orthodoxa, buckeroo (#12)

The Supreme Court just ruled today that states cannot require proof of citizenship for voting.

SCOTUS did not issue a ruling. It denied cert so the case will not be taken up and heard in the next session, leaving the existing status unchanged.

nolu chan  posted on  2015-06-29   23:37:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: TooConservative, GarySpFc (#16)

Upon further discussion with my coworker. His church claims 10,000 congregants with one pastor and three associate pastors. See the issue. I told him if these pastors cannot name every member of the 10,000 there's a huge problem.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-30   1:32:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: redleghunter (#20)

I told him if these pastors cannot name every member of the 10,000 there's a huge problem.

But do they serve fries with their Happy Meals?

I've always thought these megachurches do not possess any actual congregation in the sense that word was used for centuries.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-30   6:43:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: CZ82 (#1)

In theory, the government could direct the behavior of churches by mandating that they perform gay unions or punishing those who don’t by denying them benefits—in particular, tax-exempt status.

ACP is not now nor ever has been a 501c3.

I will only marry a couple made up of one naturally born male to one naturally born female in which I find no conflict of 2 Corinthians 6:14.

BobCeleste  posted on  2015-06-30   8:51:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: CZ82, redleghunter, all (#1)

In theory, the government could direct the behavior of churches by mandating that they perform gay unions or punishing those who don’t by denying them benefits—in particular, tax-exempt status.

ACP is not now nor ever has been a 501c3.

I will only marry a couple made up of one naturally born male to one naturally born female in which I find no conflict of 2 Corinthians 6:14.

BobCeleste  posted on  2015-06-30   8:51:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: TooConservative (#21)

But do they serve fries with their Happy Meals?

I've always thought these megachurches do not possess any actual congregation in the sense that word was used for centuries.

Are you sitting down?:)

I heard a mom at baseball practice tell another mom that their church boasted a Starbucks inside their church. I kid you not. I found out later it is one of those churches Joel Osteen planted in the local area.

All it needs now is a swimming pool, raquet ball courts and weight room/cardio room and it's complete!

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-30   11:48:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: redleghunter (#24)

I heard a mom at baseball practice tell another mom that their church boasted a Starbucks inside their church. I kid you not. I found out later it is one of those churches Joel Osteen planted in the local area.

My mom's smallish (300 weekly) E-Free church allowed the local coffee scammers to set up a booth inside their new church so the teens could make money for their foreign outings. The teens and their moms leave a big mess for the old ladies who run the kitchen to clean up.

The older ladies like my mom were not amused. And they don't buy that expensive coffee. You can imagine their reaction but the pastor is smart enough not to ask their actual opinion.

I'm sure a few choice quotes about moneychangers have circulated with a bit of sarcasm.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-30   17:42:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: redleghunter (#24)

All it needs now is a swimming pool, racquet ball courts and weight room/cardio room and it's complete!

You might be surprised at how many churches have those already. BTW you forgot to mention a sauna and hot tub.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82  posted on  2015-06-30   17:58:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: redleghunter (#24)

All it needs now is a swimming pool, raquet ball courts and weight room/cardio room and it's complete!

By the time you do all that, the church should lose tax-exempt status.

That's a religious country club, not a church.

Some churches really do abuse their non-profit status.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-30   18:18:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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