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Sunday, October 8, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part XVI

When the legal analysis failed, and court after court has rejected the arguments for discriminating against gay people. When the social analysis has been brought in and we are forced to think objectively about the vast numbers of actual people who would be disenfranchised if these discriminatory laws were to return, the real motivation behind the desire to exclude same-sex couples from participating in the institution of marriage is exposed and it is not tradition, but religion.

The Iowa Supreme Court acknowledged as much:

Now that we have addressed and rejected each specific interest advanced by the County to justify the classification drawn under the statute, we consider the reason for the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage left unspoken by the County: religious opposition to same-sex marriage. The County’s silence reflects, we believe, its understanding this reason cannot, under our Iowa Constitution, be used to justify a ban on same-sex marriage. While unexpressed, religious sentiment most likely motivates many, if not most, opponents of same-sex civil marriage and perhaps even shapes the views of those people who may accept gay and lesbian unions but find the notion of same-sex marriage unsettling. Consequently, we address the religious undercurrent propelling the same-sex marriage debate as a means to fully explain our rationale for rejecting the dual-gender requirement of the marriage statute.[1]

The religious beliefs of a person or group of people, no matter how influential they are or how large that group is, cannot be the basis of law in Iowa or anywhere else in the United States.

We believe in a separation between Church and State, this is an American ideal, it is our tradition and as an American I hold the conviction that Congress should not pass any law respecting the establishment of religion. Neither can we leave the word religion out of our legislation and put in its place the term tradition; we cannot do this if our goal is to preserve a secular culture that is free from religious persecution and tyranny.
I hold a Masters of Arts in theology, which I earned at a Catholic school, St. John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Even though I am a Christian, and Catholic, I do not believe that my values should be used as the basis of laws that govern Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, Animists or Atheists.

Furthermore, because I believe in the separation of Church and State, I also believe that religious institutions and their ministers; which are given the authority by States to perform marriages, should not be dictated to by the State regarding who they are allowed to a marry.

If a particular church does not want to marry same-sex couples, they should not be forced to, and if another church wants to marry same-sex couples, they should not be prohibited.

The matter should concern only the individual, and their church.

The State should not interfere.

[1] Iowa Supreme Court, No. 07–1499, filed April 3rd, 2009