What Marriage Equality Means For All Of Us

The Supreme Court’s approval of marriage equality has caused many people to suggest that their individual rights will not be respected. Here are 4 arguments against marriage equality and how the law applies.

  1. Churches will be required to marry same sex couples: Churches can not marry anyone. Only the government can marry people, churches only get to perform a ceremony. Churches that do not advertise to the public the use of their property to conduct a marriage ceremony are not effected and can never be forced to perform a marriage ceremony. However, once a church advertises to the public the use of their facility to perform marriages, they will not be able to discriminate against same sex couples, just like they can not discriminate against interracial couples.
  2. County Clerks who issue marriage licenses should be able to refuse due to their “deeply held religious beliefs”. Employees of our shared government bureaucracy are required to carry out their ministerial functions for the benefit of all of us. If they have a religious objection to performing certain aspects of their job, they can ask for a transfer or find another job.
  3. Businesses will be required to participate in same sex wedding ceremonies: No one can be forced to participate in anything in the United States.
  4. Businesses will be required to provide services to same sex couples: Just like the church who advertises to the public the use of their facility to perform wedding ceremonies, businesses who cater to the public are not permitted to discriminate against any person based upon sexual orientation, race, gender, or any other reason.

The common theme here is once a business (or a church) enters the public marketplace, it can not discriminate against anyone for a “deeply held religious belief”. The reason is that we all contribute to the public marketplace to make it work for the benefit of all of us. We all pay taxes that provide fire protection, police protection, power lines, water service, sanitation, roads, rail service, ports, etc… We all must pay for these things regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation or any other reason.

In a marketplace that is created and supported by all of us we all get to share in it’s benefits. It is simply not fair to exclude people who obey the law, pay taxes, raise good kids, and are compassionate and caring members of our community from sharing in the many benefits of being a member of our community because of who they love, their race, their gender, or for any other reason.

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