Skip to comments.Teresa Collett: Redefining marriage: Religious liberty is at risk
Posted on 05/10/2013 5:09:11 AM PDT by rhema
Yesterday my friend and fellow law professor, Dale Carpenter, published an op-ed that claimed religious liberty will be unharmed if we embrace same-sex marriage ("The rites and rights of marriage," May 9). The House of Representatives has now passed a new definition of marriage, and we will see how people of faith fare.
Carpenter acknowledges that religious liberty is the first freedom mentioned in our Bill of Rights, but then suggests that our free-exercise rights are limited to a "right to worship." Instead, our federal and state constitutions guarantee the more robust free-exercise right -- the right of each American to act in accordance with his or her conscience.
Six prominent religious-liberty scholars, some of whom support same-sex marriage, warned all Minnesota senators earlier this session that the legislation passed by the House this week violates the religious-liberty protections contained in both the Minnesota and United States Constitutions. I join my voice to theirs.
Carpenter argued that if we embrace same-sex marriage, no religious leaders will be forced to recognize or solemnize marriages they do not accept. This argument is a straw man, as I testified before a Minnesota House of Representatives committee earlier this session.
Carpenter also argued that redefining marriage will not adversely affect "business owners and religiously affiliated organizations (like schools and charitable groups)." Again, we now wait to see if his words are hollow as were those arguing that nothing would change if we failed to pass the marriage amendment last fall.
Redefining marriage creates new liability under the anti-discrimination laws for "marital discrimination" where none exists now, and will expand claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation. The exemption for religious organizations is so narrow that most charitable activities engaged in by people of faith will not be covered. To be protected an organization must be "operated, supervised, or controlled by" a non-profit "religious association, corporation, or society."
Many religious people join together outside their places of worship to promote faith and to care for those in need. Both St. Paul Outreach and Bible Study Fellowship are independent organizations of people who seek to express their faith in the community, and are not "operated, supervised, or controlled by" a non-profit "religious association, corporation, or society." They will not be protected.
Carpenter argues that there is an exemption that protects all religious schools, but in fact it does not. To be protected the school must be "operated, supervised, or controlled by" a non-profit "religious association, corporation, or society." Some of the schools that do not qualify under this exemption include Chesterton Academy, Concordia Academy, the University of St. Thomas, and Northwestern College.
There is absolutely no protection for private individuals and businesses. Companies like Chick-fil-a who welcome all customers, but are led by businessmen who affirm traditional marriage, are not protected from the sort of government threats we saw from mayors of Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco last year.
Licensed professionals and students are not protected from requirements that they affirm same-sex marriage. Counselors, social workers, and doctors who continue to believe that children need a mom and a dad and that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman will be punished, and can be fired with impunity. A doctor in California was punished because he declined to provide invitro fertilization to a lesbian couple. Two graduate students in other states have been expelled from professional programs because they affirm that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. A counselor was fired for declining to counsel a lesbian about her relationship, instead referring her immediately to another counselor who had no conflicting values.
Just six months ago, we were told often and loudly that there were no real threats to the current definition of marriage. I publicly argued that this was false, and more than a million Minnesotans voted to protect marriage in the Constitution. The legislation redefining marriage speaks for itself.
We have been assured that redefining marriage poses no threat to religious liberty. I pray I am wrong because if I am right more than a million Minnesotans will be forced to either affirm what we believe to be false or subject ourselves to prosecution and insult as "bigots" and "criminals."
Teresa Collett is a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas, where she teaches Constitutional Litigation.
It’s about time for some like this brave woman to speak up, she has more balls than most men on our side and she cares more about this country and the family than most on our side.
the left have been trying to ruin the family for decades.
rules 23 to 28.
Our side never speaks up even some on here won’t speak up or couldn’t careless.
Then we have the Baltimore dept of education now saying it isn’t mother and father it is spouse 1 and 2.
For all the cowards who don’t speak up then you can forget mothers days, fathers day, wife and husband, mother and father, you are a spouse number.
Good for this Woman to speak up.
Bump for a gutsy — and knowledgeable — woman. A voice crying in the wilderness, I’m afraid, but a courageous voice nonetheless..
[suggests that our free-exercise rights are limited to a “right to worship.” ]
Exactly the same tactic used by Hitler.
I noticed a couple of years ago at the televised Fourth of July celebration from the Capitol grounds, the emcee Jimmy Smits kept saying “Freedom to worship” — something I had heard Hitlery Clinton say. This p***ed me off.
When Joe Mantegna returned to the 4th of July emcee position, he never said that.
"Ah, but what about gay *couples* getting married?" --- is that your question? "Sure. Like Andrea Dworkin and Jon Stoltenberg," is my answer. Certainly a gay couple --- a gay man and a lesbian --- can get married. Mazel Tov!
But two men getting married, is like triangles having four corners, or me getting the Heisman Trophy, or a water molecule being reformatted to be inclusive of helium, boron and lead. Can't do it without retrofitting the definition in a way that misses the point.
Carpenter is a former Houston gay activist and ranting, raving, foam-at-the-mouth writer of op-ed pieces in the rantingly pro-gay Houston Chronicle while he was here.
When SCOTUS dumped the Lawrence abortion on the sidewalk in 2003, Carpenter came back to Houston to write a raving, foaming "payback" gloatfest in his favorite fish wrapper that proved for all time and all purposes of discussion that the homosexual political movement is graceless, tactless, tasteless, truthless, and totally, irredeemably damned -- a giant waste of space and oxygen.
Gaudet urbs Caesariensis,
Virginis doxis impensis
A sancto basilico!
Movement gays have admitted for 20 years now that "same-sex marriage" </off cant, /off b.s.> is quite precisely crafted to destroy the normative institution of marriage, and to hell with whatever that would do to society.
And they said this to one another, even as they whined at "non-reconciling" adversaries things like "How does our getting 'married' </off cant> damage your marriage? It doesn't!"
They knew better, lying in their teeth.
Judging by the content of her piece, as a conservative academic she's already been dialed up for professional destruction. She's totally committed now whether she wants to be or not; her personal and political enemies have an endgame already in sight.
If you talk to a homostapo person they will admit that they have the intention of destroying marriage, in the traditional sense and they know what they’re doing and how they go about it.
If you talk to a homosexual who sort of follows their politics and visits their websites then they have no idea what their so called leaders are doing and then think they are victims because of how they were supposedly born ARF.
The homostapo have made a business out of this agenda, they are reaping the money and getting their agenda passed because there are only a few brave souls in this country who can speak against them and stand for what America once stood for.
I know there are a few n here who will speak up to their family, neighbors, friends, even in a dentist waiting room but I just get a feeling some do not
Not to mention remorseless and ruthless. Lady Macbeth is the patron saint of this bunch. Like today's pro-aborts, she didn't brook wimps who blanch at killing the innocent: "Yet do I fear thy nature. It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness ... Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers.... Things without all remedy should be without regard."
Marsha Gessen agrees with you.
I tried Google but somehow couldn't find the lines you quoted from Stella Maris. Could you clue me in on the rest?
sadly our side can’t get this into their thick heads and understand why homosexual sham is being pushed onto the country