The United States government recently extended the right to marriage to all genders, but the debate still rages. A number of states have argued that the federal government overstepped its authority, while others have welcomed it as solution to their internal political struggles. Public opinion is shifting more towards the progressive, but many still hold onto traditional values. Our authors tackle the issue.
The Supreme Court decision is in - It is now legal for same-sex couples to marry. The question is can individuals cite their religious beliefs as a reason to decline to offer a marriage license to gay couples?
There are some people who disagree with the highest court decision. They believe based on their religious beliefs that they have the right to publicly deny a marriage license to same-sex couples. They argue that the First Amendment should prevail and protect individuals. In New Orleans Governor, Bobby Jindal condemned the Supreme Court ruling decision. He said, “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no other earthly court can alter that.”
He further stated that the state of Louisiana would not recognize the Court ruling, “Until the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals makes a ruling.” In addition, the Attorney General, wants clerks of court to wait 25 days before they can issue marriage license to same-sex couples. Twenty-five days is the time states have to appeal the higher court decision.
In Morehead, Kentucky, an example of a gay couple that attempted to obtain a marriage license was struck down. Videotape was rolling as David Moore and his finance’ waited in line for at least 40 minutes as clerk personnel passed them by and attended to other matters. Finally when they were seen, Moore and his finance’ were told that Roman County employees were not issuing licenses because of a choice made by county clerk, Kim Davis. Davis stated that her Christian “beliefs prevented her from abiding by the Supreme Court ruling.” Therefore gay or straight people would no longer be issued a marriage license.
That was her way around issuing legal licenses to same-sex couples. Even though they pay taxes, and have a house in that county, Moore and his finance’ were not allowed to get a legal license. They were told they had to go to another county to obtain a marriage license.
As I viewed this video, I thought this was bigotry plan and simple. They could have been African American, Asian, American Indian or Jew. I am constantly amazed …… Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. said, “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye: The more light you shine on it, the it will contract.”
Discriminatory issues from the past still seem to be large part of bigotry today. All of us have the right to disagree, but we loose that right when we publicly deny people equality. I quote again from Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” Meaning that, you have the right to disagree with gay marriage, but and this is a big but, this ends – where the rights of my family and community begins.
Religious beliefs do not put people above the law. We all live a society where laws govern our existence. We have them in place, which helps us to enjoy a free community. Marriage equality is just one part of the quest for gay rights.
I am all for letting people live their lives. Your life, your business. But I believe that for ALL people. So when all the controversy came out in Indiana about the business that did not want to cater a gay wedding, I felt they have the choice to do so. After all it is their business, a business that is privately owned. If a person wants to refuse money and turn away business, then as an entrepreneur in America they should have that freedom. As consumers, we can choose to support them or not.
It is no different than a business deciding to close on a Sunday for religious reasons. If they can afford to do so, than more power to them. I know, I know. Closing on Sunday encompasses everyone … refusing to cater a gay wedding is against one group of people. And I guess many people will feel that it is not right to do so. I personally would not want someone catering my wedding or making my wedding cake who did not want to. So if someone told me no because of some reason that was against their religious beliefs, I would take my money elsewhere and gladly do so. There is no way that I would take the time or energy to try to convince people that they were being unreasonable…because everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I have mine and some people are in agreement and some are not.
So agree or disagree…everyone is entitled to their beliefs. As consumers…we have the ability to refuse to support businesses we do not agree with.