Skip to comments.Washington’s Gay Marriage Bill: A Frontal Attack on Religious Freedom
Posted on 01/25/2012 3:58:35 PM PST by Starman417
The gay marriage bill in the Washington State Legislature specifically claims to protect religious freedom. HB 2516/SB 6239 bills itself as:
AN ACT Relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom...[Emphasis mine]But, as always, the devil is in the details.
Section 4 (2) of the proposed legislation says that:
No regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination is required to solemnize any marriage.Sounds good, right? The Section goes on to say that:
A refusal to solemnize any marriage under this section by a regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination does not create a civil claim or cause of action. . . .It doesnt create a civil claim or cause of action. A civil claim is when one private person (or group of people) sues another private person or group. Notice that the Section is silent on whether a refusal might create any other kind of legal claim.
Now lets go to Section 7:
(1) Consistent with the law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, no religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale. [Emphasis mine]Sounds pretty innocuous, but remember: The devil is in the details.
(2) A refusal by any religious organization to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage does not create a civil claim or cause of action unless the organization offers those accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public in transactions governed by law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW. [Emphasis mine]
That little word unless in paragraph (1) is a hole big enough to drive a Mack truck through. Most churches have some procedure whereby at least some people who arent parishioners can rent their building and hold a wedding in it. Many churches hold occasional fundraisers on church property. All those churches could be sued under that one unless.
But thats small potatoes compared to the opening clause, which brings all churches in the state for the first time under the purview of Chapter 60 (which deals with the State Human Rights Commission) of Title 49 (Labor Regulations) of the Revised Code of Washington. Thats important, because the Human Rights Commission (HRC) doesnt function in the civil law arena. It functions in the arena of public and administrative law. According to the HRC website,
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...
We’ll know soon after the bill takes effect. You just know the gay rights folkes will go after the Catholic Church right off the bat.
The ironically sickening thing is that the bill’s primary sponsor and the governor-advocate both consider themselves to be practicing Catholics (Certainly NOT my kind of Catholic, since we follow the Magisterium of the Church).
I'd move but at least we don't have a state income tax yet...
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