It's definitely difficult to find a balance between religious rights and same-sex marriage rights. I think, in the end, it's not going to be laws that remedy this. What it boils down to is changing people's beliefs and attitudes. Slowly, but surely, religious groups are becoming more accepting of GLBT people. But of course it's going to take decades, since very religious people like to cling to "tradition," meaning no gays allowed. We need to convince these people that gay people are not going away - in fact they are coming out in greater numbers than ever. I wish opponents would use their religious beliefs of respect and love, rather than focus on one tiny passage in the Bible and use it to keep an entire group of people down.
Earlier this month, a state commission headed by J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, the director of the Division on Civil Rights and the author of Monday's ruling, recommended that the state allow gay couples full marriage rights.
Opponents of gay marriage cite the case as a prime example of their contention that by recognizing same-sex couples, states are interfering with religious freedoms.
"It's something we have to be careful about," said the Alliance Defense Fund's Raum. "As the rights of same-sex couples increase, the tendency is to have it conflict with the First Amendment rights of religious organizations."
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A lesbian couple in New Jersey was the victim of discrimination when they were denied usage of church-owned beachfront property to hold their civil union ceremony. They took the issue to the courts, which ruled that the refusal to rent the property violated the state's Law Against Discrimination. From the Huffington Post: