Culture Ethics Institutions

Gay marriage debate shouldn’t be winner-take-all (COMMENTARY)

A man holds up a Bible in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, after justices hear arguments about same-sex marriage. Religion News Service photo by Kevin Eckstrom
A man holds up a Bible in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, after justices hear arguments about same-sex marriage. Religion News Service photo by Kevin Eckstrom

A man holds up a Bible in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, after justices hear arguments about same-sex marriage. Religion News Service photo by Kevin Eckstrom

If the Supreme Court rules that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage, religious charities could be in for a big shock.

Religious people who believe in marriage as it has been for “millennia” (as Justice Kennedy put it) have lost business, lost jobs, and been sued by their own government. Those of us who support laws that protect both gay couples and religious people find these developments troubling. But if the Supreme Court rules that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage without reaffirming the rights of religious people, we will see many more situations like this.

Don’t take my word for it. During last month’s oral arguments in the same-sex marriage cases U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli acknowledged that the tax-exempt status of religious institutions —  the colleges, hospitals, and homeless shelters that religious people have founded and run — will become an “issue” if the Supreme Court finds a constitutional right to same-sex marriage:

JUSTICE ALITO: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the court held that a college was not entitled to tax exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?

GENERAL VERRILLI: You know, I — I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue.

The Bob Jones case involved a South Carolina Christian university that banned interracial dating. The IRS decided that it could revoke the school’s tax exempt status because the school’s ban on interracial dating was against “public policy,” embodied in cases like Loving v. Virginia, which found a constitutional right to interracial marriage. The school challenged the IRS, and the Supreme Court sided with the government.

As Verrilli admitted, a Supreme Court decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage could, in the future, be used by the IRS to justify stripping tax-exempt status from every religious college and charity that disagrees. True, race nondiscrimination receives special protection in America, and nothing would compel the government to extend the Bob Jones precedent. But if it did, that would be a terrible outcome for dissenting religious institutions and the people they serve. Money that would go to help the poor and others in need would go to the IRS instead.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Take New York. When New York legalized same-sex marriage, the legislature balanced the needs of gay couples and religious people, and came up with exemptions to protect the ability of religious citizens to keep practicing their faith. These protections are by no means perfect, but they do help a significant number of people and avoid unnecessary conflict.

But if the Supreme Court holds that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage — and especially if the court holds that the reason for laws opposing same-sex marriage is “animus” or hostility towards gays and lesbians, which some of the lawyers have asked it to do — then New York’s religious exemptions could be challenged as unconstitutional, because they would simply be protecting illegal bigotry.

None of this is necessary. If the Supreme Court finds a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it can, and should, leave room for states to accommodate those who adhere to a traditional view of marriage. And if the Supreme Court allows the states to debate and decide the marriage issue themselves, then states will continue to have the freedom to accommodate both gay couples and religious dissenters. Every state that has legalized same-sex marriage to date has done this, and while some of their solutions are imperfect, all of them would be a huge improvement over a winner-take-all approach that secures rights for some at the expense of others.

The reality is that same-sex marriage and religious dissent can coexist in this country, but it will require hard work and a lot of good will from all sides.

(Robin Fretwell Wilson is a professor of law at the University of Illinois and recently assisted the Utah Legislature to enact the Utah Compromise balancing LGBT rights and religious liberty. In 2008 she co-edited Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts. This commentary first appeared in USA Today.)

About the author

Robin Fretwell Wilson


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  • Who is the author, Robin Fretwell Wilson? She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing! She (currently) *purports* to be a supporter of SSM but repeatedly advocates for broadly written RFRAs that would allow discrimination against LGBT people with impunity.

    She’s part of an allegedly “neutral” group of law professors that wrote and signed letters to Republican lawmakers supporting AZ’s SB 1062 and Indiana’s SB 101, stating that these laws are harmless! (The AZ letter was written at the behest of the virulently anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund, now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom. So they are not “neutral”!) She’s been a member of other anti-gay groups along with NOM’s Maggie Gallagher too. (More in next post…)

    Some of the other law professors in her group also *purport* to be supporters of LGBT rights and marriage equality, but I just don’t buy it. In repeated news articles and advocacy letters to Republican state legislators, they have disingenuously and repeatedly…

  • More about Robin Fretwell Wilson:
    The Religious Right Operative Who Helped Write Utah’s Nondiscrimination Law – “Was the nondiscrimination/religious freedom law in Utah really the “historic compromise” it’s being touted as, or a Trojan Horse for the Religious Right’s agenda? There now seems to be little doubt with the discovery that one of the law’s authors [Robin Fretwell Wilson] has spent years working with the country’s most prominent Religious Right leaders and groups to advance right-to-discriminate laws across the country…”

    Author of Utah LGBT Rights Law [Robin Fretwell Wilson] Has Deep Ties to Anti-LGBT Right Wingers

    Please treat *anything* Robin Fretwell Wilson writes as suspect, mendacious and and discriminatory to LGBT people.

  • In 2009, Wilson, who *purported* to support SSM,testified before the D.C. Council on SSM advocating for stronger protections for “religious liberty”. She cited a flurry of Fed. case law stating that the cases ruled in favor of public businesses& public servants (including policemen!) being allowed to deny services to Gays based upon their religious beliefs! Councilman David Catania found the case law she cited to be so fishy, he researched it and fnd she had *willfully misrepresented* these cases to the Council to support “religious liberty” carve outs against LGBT people. He was so incensed at her legal misrepresentations and her failure to disclose connections to anti-gay grps that he wrote her employer, Washington & Lee School of Law and the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar to report her unethical conduct.: DavidCatania Smacks Down Anti-Gay Law Prof

  • Cont’: Councilman Catania also discovered Robin Fretwell Wilson was a member of the Virginia Marriage Commission – an organ of the Family Foundation of Virginia whose stated goal is to promote the ideal that marriage “is the union between one man and one woman, [and] is an institution of God and the foundation of civil society.” One of the nation’s most virulent anti-gay, marriage equality opponents, Maggie Gallagher, was one of her colleagues at the Foundation. And the Foundation’s partners are other well-known right-wing virulently anti-gay, marriage equality opponents: The Family Research Council (an SPLC hate group), Focus on the Family, and the Alliance Defense Fund (now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom). She instead represented herself as a neutral “religious freedom” expert who supported SSM! Quelle surprise! This mendacity along with grossly misrepresenting the case law, is what incited Catania to report her to her Univ. and to the Disciplinary Board of the…

  • The red herring in this public policy debate is the notion that any church will be forced to perform a marriage ceremony it does not want to perform. Clearly guaranteed rights to free religious expression and association ensure this will never happen.

  • The so-called “Utah Compromise” was not a substitute for full equality ( ). Mormon affiliate organizations are free to discriminate against gay people. While this had the appearance of a good-faith effort, the Utah gay community was hood-winked into entering into an agreement the perpetuates discrimination.

    The problem in Utah is that the government and the Mormon Church are often one and the same.

  • Cont’ My 1st post above was also cut off.
    Wilson & several law professors in her group also *purport* to be supporters of SSM, but I just don’t buy it. In repeated news articles and advocacy letters to Republican state legislators, they have disingenuously and repeatedly withheld key information from lawmakers and the public about the breadth, context and potential damage of these RFRA bills – misleading lawmakers and the public about their potential discriminatory impact – and intent. Several of them have orthodox Catholic ties and teach at Catholic colleges – 2 even have direct ties to the Vatican! One of the most well-known books she’s co-edited, “Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts” she co-edited with Anthony J. Picarello, who is Gen.Counsel for the anti-gay US Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. and he was Vice President and General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (an anti-gay orthodox Catholic “religious liberty”…

  • If the Supreme Court imposes gay marriage then this would establish a strong legal precedent which would unleash homosexual activists to increase their promotion of the gay lifestyle, expand their active recruitment of young people and children, and threaten Churches, parents and ordinary citizens with legal retribution. Gay marriage is evil.

  • Cont’ The other Vatican connection in addition to Picarello, was one of the co-signers with Wilson of the letter to the Indiana Republican legislators supporting the expansive and hateful Indiana RFRA (SB 101) this spring: Mary Ann Glendon. Glendon, is an orthodox Catholic (and anti-abortion, anti-SSM), who was appointed Ambassador to the Holy See by George W Bush. The Pope later appointed her the Pontifical Commission of inquiry for the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), aka: The Vatican Bank. Glendon, two cardinals, a bishop, and a monsignor are responsible for preparing an investigative report on the Vatican Bank.In July 2014 she was appointed to be a member of the board of the IOR. This just demonstrates the powerful, non-neutral, anti-gay connections and intent of the “religious liberty” groups Fretwell Wilson has associated herself with.

  • “But if it did, that would be a terrible outcome for dissenting religious institutions and the people they serve. Money that would go to help the poor and others in need would go to the IRS instead.”

    One, as we’ve been told repeatedly by conservatives who stopped giving to World Vision, donations can simply be given to other charities and institutions that don’t oppose same-sex marriages. So, the claim that the “poor and others in need” would lose out is misleading at best, hypocritical at worst.

    Two, this whole post boils down to special pleading. “Please, please don’t force religious bigots to comply with the same laws everyone else does in the public sphere.” The final sentence is particularly laughable. Good will? On the part of those who oppose rights for gays and lesbians? Are you kidding us? And it’s also insulting to supporters of rights for gays and lesbians. As if wanting equal protection under the law somehow amounts to *not* acting in good will.

  • Please get the help you need. The excitement you clearly feel at the thought of these paranoid delusions coming true is apparent to all. I do hope you find some healthier way to deal with your personal issues.

  • New York State’s law protects only religiously-oriented institutions, not private businesses whose owners are religiously observant. It does not protect the bakers, florists, photographers, etc., but it does protect, for example, a Knights of Columbus hall or a minister that does freelance weddings for a fee. The law also contains an inseverability clause, meaning that if pro-SSM plaintiffs were to challenge the exemption and win, the very law that allows SSM in the first place would be invalidated and we’d all have to start over.

  • Being Gay is not a “lifestyle” anymore than being straight is a “lifestyle”. They are both sexual orientations. And please stop with your hateful lies about Gay people being pedophiles or recruiting children! Such lies will not be tolerated and will be flagged. Bigotry and bearing false witness like you are doing is what is evil. I’m so glad people like you are a dying breed.

  • Exactly! I was appalled when i saw Utah LGBT people & groups celebrating that “compromise”. The only way to explain it is Stockholm Syndrome. They’ve been so oppressed for so long by the Mormon Church that they are subconsciously self-loathing and willing to accept any crumbs thrown at their feet. Unfortunately, it has has allowed Robin Fretwell Wilson to trumpet her “compromise” and use it as a PR tool to promote for much more expansive & discriminatory RFRAs. I live in Indiana and lived thru her mendacious pieces in the IndyStar supporting our horrendous Indiana RFRA (SB 101). She& her grp also wrote a totally misleading letter to the Republican Legislators in support of their sweeping RFRA bill – all the while knowing sexual orientation is not protected by the Ind. Civil Rights Act, thus letting right wing religious business owners, in any business of any sz, discriminate against us with impunity. The Indiana RFRA made the Utah Compromise look like the Declaration of…

  • Robin Fretwell Wilson sounds like a well-meaning person, and maybe in another time or place, she’d be accorded her due.

    Unfortunately, as this board indicates, what the radical left wants today goes far beyond gay marriage. It cares nothing about gays or gay marriage per se and in fact is quite bigoted against gays. It’s also on record as hating marriage of any kind or definition. It wants to remake and reshape humanity into its own image and destroy dissent on any issue.

    That’s the totalitarian spirit of the French and Russian Revolutions, and every bloodthirsty dictatorship of the prior century. It is utterly foreign to the American Revolution and the traditions of individual liberty that have long characterized the Anglosphere.

    This is what I noticed when I first listened to the extremist rhetoric of the most zealous gay marriage supporters. They’re about far more than gay marriage and it’s time for people to fight this fascism wherever it rears its nasty…

  • Don’t anyone be fooled,the gay activists will eventually attack any person’s right to speak against homosexuality and gay marriage, whether their view comes from a personal or religious source. Sex education classes that teach homosexuality as a norm, and gay marriage as equal will be opposed by many, and the baseless discrimination charge will be foisted on them. Children will be taught things that oppose what their parents/faith teach them, and who will be the arbiter of what is right? The State? The Gays?
    No, trouble is on the way if gay marriage is recognized as a reality, when it clearly is not.

  • you bigots are tiresome. You lost-get over it! Gays are normal, gay equality is coming whether you like it or not or try to pray to your god top stop it. Just be quiet about it. Religious kookery will NOT be in law! Case closed!!!

  • try to fight-it’s pointless. The real God demands equality for all-there is not stopping Him.

  • I’ve got news for you, JR…..there’s something going on here that goes well beyond gay activism and gays (and straights) who are libertarian should wake up to this. These totalitarians want to use the power of the state to force people to think and feel as they do on every issue, including those which have nothing to do with gay rights or same-sex marriage, or any cultural issue.

    By trampling on religious freedom, they have taken off their mask and revealed that their goals are limitless. They don’t just want people’s outward conformity to their extremism. They want to drive out every thought and feeling inside of people which doesn’t conform to their own.

    Thus they will never stop until they blow out every candle of freedom in the world. But because they’re so brazen and ham-handed about it, I suspect they will be stopped long before it reaches that point.

  • The only fascists here are you who would fight against equality under the law for every citizen. And wow… your new line of attack is that we are bigoted against gays. Don’t make me laugh!

  • Normandywells, speaking of God, there are two things you need to know:

    (1) God exists.

    (2) You’re not He.

    What you demand and what God demands are not one and the same. The God who is the author of liberty would not turn around and demand the crushing of liberty in the name of “equality,” a word which can mean just about anything, depending on who’s defining it.

  • Linda, some of the worst anti-gay bigots around the world have been radical leftists. The far left will use gays, just as they have used every oppressed group, for their own purposes, and then throw them away like old dish rags….and those purposes have about as much to do with gay rights and gay marriage as a bicycle has to do with a xylophone.

    You have to be quite naive to think that the same radical left which has been waging war on marriage since the days of Karl Marx is suddenly swooning over gays getting married.

    People who truly hate marriage and have sought to destroy it for over a century aren’t suddenly going to recommend that it be extended to gay people unless something else is going on. You have to be stupendously naïve not to see through that.

  • Or to spell it out explicitly, if a whole movement has distinguished itself over the decades by its castigation of marriage — deeming it outmoded, bourgeois, oppressive, unnatural, hateful, and contrary to human nature and evolution — suddenly endorses an extension of marriage to include gay unions, the logical inference is that this movement must believe that by extending marriage in this way, it is destroying it. There is no other rational inference, given how much the far left has hated and despised marriage.

    If you hate something and say you want it erased from humanity, the last thing in the world you would want is for it to be extended. If you want something to die, you want to see it contract, not expand…..unless you believe that certain kinds of expansion will kill it.

  • What about him shows well meaning?

    He is making deliberately phony arguments and supporting discrimination under the color of law. There is no well-meaning here. This is a person who is trying to portray himself in a deliberately misleading light.

    You are on the record for making phony non-arguments against marriage equality without ever pointing to why it has any rational and secular merits. Someone who deliberately and dishonestly avoids the issue in favor of nonsensical arguments about “definitions”.

    “That’s the totalitarian spirit of the French and Russian Revolutions”

    There goes “Ad Hominem Jack” making self-styled labels for opponents and making historical references in an ignorant and phony fashion. Instead of making phony labels for people, why don’t you actually address the subject once in a while.

  • @Jack
    1) That is your opinion supported entirely on faith and faith alone
    2) See #1

    Somehow you have appointed yourself as God’s sole voice in this world. All hail the mighty Jack!!! The prophet for us all!!

  • “They’re about far more than gay marriage and it’s time for people to fight this fascism wherever it rears its nasty…”

    When people run out of rational arguments, they often turn to lies and fear-mongering. Congrats on running out of arguments.

  • Promises, promises…and all of ’em FALSIFIED (after the Supremes do what everybody knows they are going to do).

  • People who attack “secularism” such as yourself have no clue what religious freedom actually is.

    It is not freedom to harm others in open commerce such as discriminatory practices. You don’t want religious freedom. You want special treatment and license as a member of your faith.

    You have certainly let it be known you don’t actually believe in the concept of free exercise of religion. You make frequent attacks on other faiths/sects and deny their very existence as such. You certainly seem to get all fussy when people bring up the separation of church and state codified by the Establishment Clause.

    You exemplify why libertarianism is a brain-dead political philosophy. “Might makes right” appears to be the only civil liberties respected. Government must be too small to be effective but large enough to tell people to follow your arbitrary sectarian religious peccadilloes.

  • I want gay marriage to be abandoned as a cause for the government. Gays are free to act as they wish already, so I want the government to define marriage as a male/female union only. The trouble gays are brewing is unnecessary. Marriage is not their civil right . And for the minority it pleases, the majority will need to suffer needlessly.
    Religion loses nothing by legalization, since valid religions will always condemn it. It will only cause the weak minded to be confused over secular law vs.natural moral standards.

  • I am not the one saying, “God is real and you must take me seriously because of it”. That is all you.

    You are trying to claim God is not only on your side but will punish those who disagree with you. I can’t help it if you sound ridiculous and are so thin skinned.

  • “Larry, the writer is a “she,” not a “he.””

    You are correct….for once. How does that make you feel?

    The rest of your post is just ad hominem garbage not worth addressing.
    Lines such as this:
    “I know you’re not crazy about democracy English-speaking style”
    show you are not worth taking seriously and have nothing of value to say.

    ” It is quite clear where I stand on both”

    Clear yes. Rationally supported or using arguments relevant to the topic, almost never.

  • Eric, given the anti-freedom nature of your position, it is literally impossible to be “running out of arguments.” against it. Arguments against freedom are usually self-refuting anyway. Once you step over the line from advocating a position to trying to shut other people up, you’ve lost the debate entirely.

    By your overreach, you’ve managed to turn the gay marriage issue into a religious freedom issue, and instead of blaming the victim, maybe you should look in the mirror and ask what it is about the far left that always manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    I think the answer is that your demands are limitless…..It’s not enough to change the law….you want to force people to applaud. That’s the way dictators behave, not citizens of a democracy.

  • Your problem is that words have meaning and your words say you have a serious problem with American democracy. That’s not my problem, but it certainly is yours.

    When you advocate shutting down the First Amendment for anybody, you’re going to get called on it.

  • I’m merely pointing out your inconsistency, Larry.

    Again, “the real God demands equality for all – there is not [sic] stopping Him.”

    Those were not my words. I simply responded to them by saying that the real God would not support trampling liberty in the name of equality.

    Welcome to America, Larry.

  • “Eric, given the anti-freedom nature of your position”

    Where do you get this from?

    Oh yes, you made up some inappropriate ad hominem label for Eric and are proceeding to make strawman arguments. Jack when you show an understanding of civil liberties and constitutional freedoms, you can make arguments about how others don’t.

  • Jack, what First Amendment rights are we talking about?

    The right to free exercise of religion never extended to a license to harm others in service of your faith; such as discrimination in business. Establishment Clause means that sectarian religious dogma can never be the basis of our laws. All laws must have a rational and secular basis. The mini-RFRA laws seek to make a mockery of free exercise of religion and notions of rule of law.

    As far as I can see it, you have neither understanding nor appreciation of the 1st Amendment. You simply seek special privileges as a Christian to exert over all others.

  • Sorry, Antony, but your fever-dream fantasies of persecution aren’t going to come true. You’ll have to find some other way to cope with life.

  • My, my, that musta been some tasty kool-aid going down. How else to explain your move from garden-variety irrational bigotry to out and out conspiracy theory territory? Yeah, gay marriage is a marxist plot. Sure.

  • Call it whatever you want. You were acting like you were the sole voice of God. Being a self-styled prophet.

    A less megalomaniacal response would have been to tell Normandywells that he/she is entitled to an opinion, but your faith tells you otherwise.

    “the real God would not support trampling liberty in the name of equality. ”

    Wow, you have Orwellian diction down pat. Equality is not liberty! LMAO!

    Again, who appointed you the sole voice of God. Real or otherwise? How is that not anything like how I described you?

  • Wrong, Larry. You’ve played that game before — changing definitions of a word in the middle of a discussion.

    If by “secularism,” you mean sweeping the public square clean of religious expression — then of course I oppose it. I want both religious and non-religious expression in public life….because true freedom of expression makes no distinction between religious and non-religious. We are talking about a free market for ideas.

    When it comes to the matter at hand, of course a bakery has an inherent right to decide what message it wants or doesn’t want to place on a cake. To argue otherwise is not merely boorish; it is utterly tone-deaf to the tune of life in a democratic society. It’s the way of thugs and tyrants, not fellow citizens.

    As for your claim that I make attacks on other faiths, you are hallucinating. Members of all faiths — and people of no particular faith — must be accorded the full right to religious freedom.

  • Welcome to the crazy house, JR. You and your apocalyptic paranoia will fit right in. Keep the conspiracy theories coming, buddy. They’re all you have left and we wouldn’t want you to have to face a far more mundane reality that doesn’t put you and your anxieties at the center of the universe. That’d be a bit too much for your fragile ego to take, I’m afraid. No, far better you keep pounding that key board to warn us the sky is falling, lest you hurt yourself or others. There, there now.

  • Larry, I seriously hope you’re joking. Political philosophers, at least in this part of the world, have been wrestling for centuries about areas in which liberty and equality contradict, and what to do about it.

    Interestingly enough, it was the French Revolution (“liberty, equality, and fraternity”) which blithely assumed otherwise.

    Hence my assertion that you, like many others on the hard left, are more about the French Revolution than you are about the American Revolution. That’s why we often talk past each other. You support a whole way of thinking that is antithetical to American democracy, or even the British system.

  • “And for the minority it pleases, the majority will need to suffer needlessly.”

    Really? and precisely what is the nature of that suffering, except to be all butthurt that gay people are succeeding in ending that discrimination and bigotry so freely inflicted on us?

    C’mon. Let’s have some real examples, and more importantly, some real evidence. You can come up with a dozen cake bakers and florists who claim that they don’t have to act civilly and with good business practices towards gay people. But they hardly represent a majority of anyone, even of Christians or cake bakers.

    “Religion loses nothing by legalization, since valid religions will always condemn it.” Well, gee, and admission that you have NOTHING. But you are quite willing, apparently, for the government to step in and declare which religions are “valid”. Why do you hate religious freedom?

  • Well, this load of horse-pucky masquerades as thoughtful commentary. Starting with this:

    “As Verrilli admitted, a Supreme Court decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage could, in the future, be used by the IRS to justify…”

    Yet, the actual Verilli quote says: “I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that.”

    Verilli was stating the obvious, NOT saying how he thinks it will play out.

    It is obvious that uber-right wing will make it an issue. They are DETERMINED to do so, which is why we have these phony religious freedom bills. It will be an issue if a legally married gay person is told by his religious employer that said employer need not follow secular law and recognize his/her marriage. We are supposed to buy the idea that standing against legal marriage is just like standing with interracial dating bans.

    I suspect they haven’t thought this one through.

  • Jack, what about the games you are playing/

    you’ve claimed this vast left-wing conspiracy exists, but when pressed for names, you only came up with– AL SHARPTON? You care claiming that these un-named, radical leftists are using gay marriage to attack traditional marriage? Who are they? where is their power? what connection do they have to the marriage equality movement? And why is this any different from the right wing attacks that claim my harmless, boring marriage is attacking heterosexual marriage?

    “By trampling on religious freedom, they have taken off their mask and revealed that their goals are limitless. They don’t just want people’s outward conformity to their extremism. They want to drive out every thought and feeling inside of people which doesn’t conform to their own.” apart from the utter nonsense of this claim, how is this any different from the documentable attacks on gay people and gay affirming religion?

    you have to do better than this.

  • Fantasies? Clearly not.

    Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Minnesota, New Mexico, etc. That’s just the beginning. Christian families, fair-minded small business owners, have already seen upfront what kind of *economic kristallnacht* mess the Gay Activist Bullies are happily doing.

    There are no fantasies here, because what your gay-activist side has done in multiple states, is now a matter of public record, and public shame. The New Fascism has arrived, jackboots and all !!


  • No, Eric, it’s no plot. I believe ideas move history, not conspiracies. I’m the first to say that 99% of conspiracy theories violate Occam’s Razor. The triumph of gay marriage came not because of any conspiracy, but because its supporters won the war of ideas, at least for now. They persuaded a critical mass of people in the justness of their cause.

    But that doesn’t prevent anyone from noting how heterosexual denizens of the radical left obviously had some agenda other than marriage… given how these same people had been trashing marriage for decades. You can’t trash marriage on the one hand and support its expansion on the other, unless you believe that what appears to be an expansion is really the opposite.

  • The right to free exercise of religion certainly means that if someone walks into your bakery, while you have a duty to serve them so long as they’re willing to pay, you also have a right to refuse particular requests about the content of any inscription on the cake.

    In a diverse society like our own, the practical effect will be that if bakery owner A won’t do the inscription, bakery owner B will only be too happy to do so and gain some business.

    It’s called freedom… and your cohorts should try it sometime, rather than thinking that Big Brother knows better than markets.

  • No, Larry, if you or Eric want to take other people’s liberties away just because they disagree with you, neither of you gets a pass on it. This board is not some echo chamber for your views. If you want one, talk to your friends.

  • Eric, your empty rhetoric says more about you than anyone else.

    But I guess in your little intellectual ghetto, rhetoric trumps logic and facts.

  • Thanks for researching the author and proving she’s dishonest, Ms. Zambanini. Anti-gays routinely make similarly dishonest claims, but usually from behind a pseudonym. I started to laugh as soon as the author claimed anti-gays “have lost business, lost jobs, and been sued by their own government.

  • Sorry, Doc. We know each and every of the anti-gay bakers and florists have attorneys from the anti-gay “Alliance Defending Freedom Of Faith” as their attorneys. This “Alliance” promised them all to provide free legal representation and pay any fines and costs incurred, BEFORE these anti-gays committed those crimes.

    Anyone can confirm this on the website of this “Alliance.”

  • Relax, brbq, that “impose gay marriage” fundraising talking point is nothing more than that, a lie some professional anti-gay told you so he could fleece you for a “donation.” No one is going to force you to get “gay married.” No one is going to force you to support the United States Constitution and Equal Protection Under the Law. No one is going to force anti-gays to get mental health care for the mental disorder, homophobia.

  • Jack, you’re the one claiming your imaginary friend means you get to subvert the United States Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection Under the Law.

  • Sorry, Jack, the anti-discrimination laws that the “Alliance Defending Freedom Of Faith” is attacking have all been upheld by the US Supreme Court already. Spare us all that dancing around the anti-gays who commit that crime and this “Alliance” that incites them to commit that crime. They’re on a fool’s errand, and wasting taxpayer dollars.

  • Sorry, Jack, no use trying to “project” your own desire to deprive LGBT Americans of equality onto your intended LGBT victims. No one is fooled by that silly parlor trick.

  • Anti-gays aren’t demonstrating any careful thought, they are just blindly reacting in a rage at their many defeats, including one spectacular self-inflicted defeat. I look forward to the next time some fool talks again about “family values,” because everyone will automatically think of one particular family who used to have a TV show.

  • Ted, what the article is saying is that churches which will not recognize SSM will be removed from the tax exempt status. And I think she has a point; the writing is on the wall. Sadly, when our government declares a disorder, a normalcy, then we have entered into very strange times: Very, very, strange.

  • Eric, it s very clear what is going on. You need to take off your blindfold. Once the Leftists are done with you they will chew you up and spit you out. They have no use for anyone, really, but they bitterly despise Christ, and his followers. For now, however, you are assisting them, so they make you feel as though you are part of their team.

  • “Religious people who believe in marriage as it has been for millennia…have lost business…”

    Turning away paying customers and then griping about the resulting “lost business” surely must represent a new low in deluded, self-centered whining.

  • Christians for decades have warned that the rise of the celebration of homosexuality would eventually attack Christians. We are now at the cliff where people that are possessed with the desires to engage in homosexuality will act as did the Sodomites to anyone that opposes their behaviors.

    The Sodomites threatened Lot with even worse outcomes than they were going to unleash raping the Angels.

    We are at the point again.

  • LGBT’s and their legion of supporters have been threatening the Church and Christians for years. This isn’t about marriage, this is about unleashing sexual degeneracy on the populace.

    The rise of evil has increased sine the legalization of murdering children for sexual licentiousness. This should come as no surprise.

  • Larry, my concern is for society overall, not my own satisfaction. I will never recognize the gay married state, because it is a fantasy. But who cares what I think? I want society to be fair to itself and define marriage as it has always been understood. And don’t cite footnotes in history where gay marriages were allowed/ignored……they are so minute that they barely cause a blip on the history timeline.

  • “economic kristallnacht”

    See, this is not only where you lose the argument; it’s where you lose any sense of credibility whatsoever. To compare religious conservatives in modern America to Jews in Nazi Germany is a slap in the face to victims of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

    To even think that comparison has merit is the sign of a juvenile, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and petty mind devoted to nothing but impotent expressions of rage at not getting its way. It is sign you should not be taken seriously because you have nothing serious, nothing true, to say. It is the epitome of the why the author’s appeal to “good will on all sides” is nothing but wishful thinking.

  • No, it actually does not say that. Neither the Bob Jones case nor the exchange in this case have squat to do with actual churches. The question was about “faith-based” institutions and organizations. If you can’t read this article accurately, why should we believe what you say about the “writing on the wall”?

  • “You can’t trash marriage on the one hand and support its expansion on the other, unless you believe that what appears to be an expansion is really the opposite.”

    You can’t trash conspiracy theories on the one hand and propagate one on the other, unless you believe that what appears to be a sane person is really the opposite.

  • Jack,

    The Romans couldn’t extinguish The Church and the modern LGBT attacks won’t do anything to stop it except show what power drives gay activism. Once the demons are unleashed, parents and others will see the stark reality of what they are and what they activate and Churches will once again be the place where people find relief from the horrors of a licentious world. The so-called Supreme Court is anything but. They are just puppets on the strings of a bad experiment gone even worse.

  • And Banjo, I’m all for religious freedom, but believe that only one is above all others in Truth. That’s my opinion, and if I didn’t state it I would sound as wishy washy as all the strip mall churches that grow everyday…..appealing to the latest trends in society. God is not a god that speaks multiple truths……there is only one.

  • “Eric, it s very clear what is going on. You need to take off your blindfold. Once the Leftists are done with you they will chew you up and spit you out”

    Since you are running for president of the tin-foil hat club, Greg, let me clarify a few talking points for you:

    1. I’m not gay, so I’m not the pawn you are looking for.

    2. I *am* a Leftist, so I know what plans we have and don’t have.

    3. I am *also* a Christian, so I don’t despise Christ or his true followers, however much I can’t stand cowards who use the Bible as a weapon and the cross as a shield.

  • “No, Larry, if you or Eric want to take other people’s liberties away just because they disagree with you, neither of you gets a pass on it.”

    This sentence is a lie. And that’s a fact, Jack. Ergo, on the basis of that fact, I submit again that you are dumber than a bag of hammers.

  • Erica, my sweet, I could only wish the Apocalypse were around the corner, but sense that I will have to suffer seeing the likes of you tittering with glee while you flip through Versa Wang’s new bridal line. Or Sears selling off the rack wedding gear to the lesbians.
    Just another downgrade of humanity that you will wallow in as if it is a “win”. It won’t affect my life, just give rise to more jokes and snickering behind your back……..with the public face of “acceptance”.

  • And again, no answer to the questions.

    Just an assertion of your own superiority, and the superiority of the Catholic Church.

    I’m sure you are for religious freedom for all of the people who agree with you and with your church.

    And by the way, honey. That’s MR. Banjo to you.

  • Gays do not have the numbers to hurt businesses. Drugs, alcohol, porn, lubricants, condoms, and beauty products will always be there for you. And Elton John, of course.

  • The idea is to demean marriage so that it is no longer an exclusive, lifelong bond of unity between one man and one woman, with rights and privileges. The idea from one side is to give people every reason not to get married. Look at the black population for example, nobody gets married because all the freebies for the babies would stop, and the husband would have to pay for the birth, the formula, the diapers, the medical, etc.. then from the other side, they push “marriage” for gay people so to remove the aspect of holiness from its appeal. Once the Leftists have accomplished that, then it is on to marriage for more than two people, brother and sister, and at some point you will have the right to marry your pet. You are being used by the Left Eric, and when they are finished, there will only be two classes of people. The godless royals and the peasants (landlords and proletariat). That is their goal, and you will be among the peasant class, in total dependence.

  • Luckily there’s hundreds of channels now and streaming video on line. So when LGBT depravity and anti-Christian fanaticism finds its ways onto one channel after another, it can be avoided quite easily. I have had LOGO blocked since I got Directv. I still must suffer the channel-surfing experience from time to time, but it is quite easy to reject LGBT culture in the privacy of my own home.

    For now anyway.

  • JR,

    You’re joking right? Kidding? LGBT’s have the entire media machine AND the education system. The duped masses have already been conditioned to hurt Christians. You think the anti-Christian polls are fake? The LGBT parade road on an anti-Christian float right down main street and into the minds of the duped. Or rather, the debauched.

    C’mon man. That whole story of the homosexual and secular community in Sodom . . . and the way in which they attacked Lot, thinking there was something worse than anal rape . . . that looks like perfect reality now doesn’t it?

    If there was even a semblance of civility in the gay pride and secularist movements, then Christians that stand against the redefinition of marriage would be supported for being “real” Christians in that respect. Same sex marriage is as antithetical to Christian life as is the demand that Jesus was never crucified or resurrected. Yet bad “Christians” are cheered on.

    Of course.

  • Sorry, Brave….I was half-joking, sick of all this righteousness the gays pretend to profess. You are right in the fact that gays have infiltrated the moral fiber of society, raising their acts to a level it does not deserve.Individually, they should not be discriminated against, but as a collective force trying to manipulate morality they need to be restrained. Since gays are produced via heterosexual unions, there is a huge amount of empathy for them since they are our children, siblings, friends, or coworkers. That is displaced sympathy though when they are allowed to redefine morality to whatever they like. Marriage is not a civil rights issue……. unless you are a male and female couple. If we open this door, unheard of unions will be demanding marriage “equality”. Will the gays protest these upcoming abominations?

  • Jack, you like to make up new definitions of words to suit your spiels and pretend an opponent has a position which is never stated.
    Your take on secularism is defective. You support sectarian discrimination as an act of government. You support malicious harm to others as the exercise of religion. You have no concept of what religious freedom means other than the nonsense idea that being a Christian entitles you to break laws and treat people like crap.

    “Members of all faiths — and people of no particular faith — must be accorded the full right to religious freedom.Members of all faiths — and people of no particular faith — must be accorded the full right to religious freedom.”

    But you don’t actually believe that. You want your particular faith to be given color of law at all times.

  • Whenever anyone says whatever is right is wrong and whatever is wrong is right there will be disagreement. The opposite of truth is false. Whatever is false cannot also be true. The opposite of orientation is disorientation. If my “orientation” is right and true, then whatever opposes it, whether redefining it or some other tactic, is wrong and false. Marriage is not a right but rather it is a gift given to humanity for several purposes, one being procreation and another being a symbol of Jesus’ love for His people. Having a divine origin and design makes the institution of marriage superior to civil rights and human legislation. It cannot be redefined or changed by humans because that would make right wrong and wrong right. Humanity has an inherent hostility toward authority … and God. Twisting and corrupting the divine institution of marriage is godlessness. That is why the “gay agenda” will attack the bible and define it as “hate speech” attempting to legally…

  • Nonsense, and more nonsense.

    Divine institution? It’s a civil institution everywhere in the civilized world.

    The gay agenda is attacking the bible? And that’s why so many denominations want to see their parishioners married. It seems to me that you are attacking other Christians. Which means that you are projecting.

  • CarrotCakeMan, based on your cockamamie logic, the drafter(s) of the Equal Protection Clause, along with virtually everyone who has since walked the fruited plain until about twenty years ago, subverted the Equal Protection Clause.

    You have no idea what a silly argument you are making.

  • So we need to be “restrained.” Does that mean jailed? Put into concentration camps? Deny the validity of majority votes? Overthrow the constitution and set up your little Catholic Caliphate of America?

    Inquiring minds want to know how you are going to restrain us, or restrain the 60% of americans that support marriage equality, or the 75% that think we deserve employment protections.

  • Sorry, CarrotCakeMan, but there is a difference between the right to be served and the right to have every request fulfilled. If you owned a bakery shop and someone who ordered a cake wanted you to write on the cake, “we oppose gay marriage,” you would certainly have a right to refuse such a request.

  • You can “submit” all you want, Eric, but your position is flatly anti-freedom, and nothing other than changing it can alter that fact.

    Only a lefty believes that the way to win an argument is to end with a mini-tantrum, but such is the result of living an intellectually cloistered existence.