Joe marrying Joe will make Christians unequal

February 2, 2012 No Comments by Deb Wagner

 By Carroll L. Conley, Jr., Executive Director of the Christian Civic League

If same sex marriage becomes law, Maine Christians will lose their equality.  These Christians will no longer have the same freedom of religion or speech to uphold natural marriage. 

Because one of the Christian Civic League’s major tenets is defending religious freedom, I am greatly concerned about the language recently approved for the “same sex” marriage petition.

The question reads:

Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?

The inclusion of religious freedom in this petition language is the same smokescreen used in New York which allowed legislators to justify accepting political pay-offs in order to abandon the defense of natural marriage. The language in the New York law and the Maine petition gives the false impression that citizens’ religious rights are being broadly protected, but that is not the case.

The prescribed protections pertain only to clergies specifically in regard to wedding ceremonies.

Think about what a tiny number of people that represents. There is no protection for faith-based organizations or other individual citizens who find participation in a “same sex” marriage contrary to their religious beliefs.

Do you want some examples of religious freedoms already lost because people, churches, companies and organizations stood publicly for natural marriage?

  • Ask the adoption agencies and foster care providers in Massachusetts and Illinois who closed their doors rather than being forced to provide services to same-sex couples.
  • Ask the town clerks in New York who refused to grant marriage licenses based upon their religious beliefs (deputy clerks could have still provided licenses and protected the rights of both parties).
  • Ask the New Jersey Christian camp ground who refused to rent their facilities for a same-sex civil union?
  • What about the florist or the organist who objects on religious grounds?
  • What about public educators that have been suspended or fired for stating their opinions regarding same-sex marriage?

Many times, I am asked, “Why do you oppose the redefinition of marriage? How does it impact you and your marriage?” This is not about my marriage or anyone marriage. There our societal consequences of undermining the fundamental building block of civilization – natural marriage.

That loss of freedom isn’t happening right now.  Why?  When it comes to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, you can’t have one without the other.  

Our Founding Fathers knew the inherent connection of these two integral freedoms and demonstrated their supreme relevance to a free society by making this the primary amendment in our Bill of Rights.  Including free speech and religious freedom in our Constitution’s First Amendment was profoundly wise and arguably one of their greatest contributions to political history. 

Those who seek to redefine marriage as something other than the special union between one man and one woman ignore the fact that throughout history diverse cultures and faiths have upheld natural marriage as the ideal. Natural marriage is the fundamental building block for all human civilization, including Maine. Protecting marriage is the time-tested way for society to make sure as many children as possible are raised by their mom and dad. Moms and dads are both necessary; they are not replaceable by generic adults. 

Voting no to same sex marriage in November will protect religious freedom for all Mainers, keep Christians equal, allow everyone freedom of speech, and will make it the ideal that Maine boys and girls will be raised by moms and dads.

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