The state of New York recently passed legislation legitimizing the “marriage” of homosexuals -- same sex marriage. I believe it was the 6th state to do so. What makes the New York legislation
different is the uproar over the last minute inclusion of a clause called the “religious exemption” clause in which religions are allowed to not recognize these marriages, without retribution. In other words language was put into the law which allows your church or mine, if it so chooses, to refuse to allow the use of the church building or church property to be used for such ceremonies
without the threat of being sued, penalized by the state or have funds or federal benefits withheld if the faith organization operates a social service.
Very shortly after the law passed the New York Times published an editorial criticizing and condemning the exclusion clause, which for practical purposes, undercuts the logic of the redefinition of marriage. They, and those like-minded, wish to advance the notion that the religious institution of marriage should be unlinked from the secular institution of civil union.
Those who favor the inclusion of the “religious exemption” clause have been castigated by homosexual activists as homophobes, and even bigots.
If those who wish to eliminate the religious exemption clause have their way, that is, in forcing all religions to recognize a homosexual “marriage” as a legitimate marriage, it will result in couples having to be married twice. For the secular and religious institution of marriage will have been unlinked. Priests and evangelical pastors will effectively have been made illegitimate
agents, not recognized by the state, in conducting a marital ceremony. The effect this will have will be to force couples into getting married twice – once in front of a civil authority, in order to obtain the legal assignments that are due under the law, and then the real and meaningful marriage in their faith church.
Essentially it is an attempt to create a new “reality” -- a reality different from that which has prevailed for eons, a reality that existed long before the creation of the modern nation-states in which a one-man one-woman union existed for the propagation of humankind.
I’ve gone to school with homosexuals, worked with them, been taught by them, have friends who are homosexual, and of course have had patients who are homosexual. One of the funniest and respectful guys I’ve ever known was homosexual.
But is it homophobic to push back on this effort to unlink the civil and religious institutions of marriage? I don’t think so. But is it crazy to pretend reality is something different than what it really is, and to make religious-minded and God-fearing couples get married twice?
You may be thinking, “It’ll never get to this. Get marred twice? Never happen.” It might be hard to imagine. But who would have ever imagined 20, 15, or even 10 years ago that we would even be having a national discourse about what marriage even means?
If the Founding Fathers were walking among us today I’m almost sure, upon learning of this issue, they would shake their heads. Because this agenda defies the very foundation upon which all of the guiding principles and concepts that have come to make our
nation great were built. And that foundation is – “Under God.”