Defending True Religious Liberty: Church Files Lawsuit in Support of Marriage Equality

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    Apr 28, 2014 10:23 PM GMT
    [url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/defending-true-united-church-of-christ_b_5226298.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices[/url]

    Seriously, get jail for performing a same-sex marriage???

    Five religious institutions represented in the lawsuit:

    "Today, the United Church of Christ, along with plaintiffs which include three UCC ministers, two Unitarian Universalist clergy, one Lutheran pastor, one Baptist minister, and one rabbi, as well as the eight extraordinarily courageous and faithful couples they seek to marry, are taking a stand for religious freedom in North Carolina. They are standing up for true religious liberty. And they are saying it is no longer acceptable to oppress the religious rights of all in the name of the religious preferences of the few."
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    Apr 28, 2014 11:31 PM GMT
    Where are all the conservatives that are always screaming "First Amendment!" "Freedom of Speech," and "Religious Liberty"? This really is the government telling a religion what they can or cannot do and telling them what they cannot say.
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    May 01, 2014 12:23 PM GMT
    Other churches are beginning to sweat it, because it shows loss of religious freedom. They are having an issue with their religious freedom and ability to hate being contradictory.
  • tj85016

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    May 01, 2014 1:42 PM GMT
    I really can't think of a more "conservative" stance than to agree with same-sex-marriage.

    It embodies freedom of choice (not implying that being gay is a choice), personal liberty and separation of church and state - everything these fake conservatives believe in.

    But it's all about the Jesus icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 01, 2014 2:05 PM GMT


    Hmmm...interesting conundrum. The State does not permit marriage between gay people, so really the church cannot marry them with that marriage carrying any legal weight, as there is no marriage license. However, clergy being legally punished for performing a religious marriage ritual as a spiritually symbolic gesture is ridiculous and flies in the face of your constitution as it applies to religion.

    In Canada where it is 100% legal everywhere, religious denominations can choose to marry gay people or not at their sole discretion, which is fine.
  • tj85016

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    May 01, 2014 2:10 PM GMT
    ^^

    you can be married by a judge or a ship's captain, but I don't see how a legal system can press charges against a private organization (a church) for performing a ritual because it did something against their private beliefs
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    May 01, 2014 2:41 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    ...clergy being legally punished for performing a religious marriage ritual as a spiritually symbolic gesture is ridiculous and flies in the face of your constitution as it applies to religion.

    It may be unconstitutional, but that is not a hindrance to some State legislators, who adhere to the concept of "nullification." This proceeds from the "compact theory" that holds that since the individual States voluntarily formed the Federal compact of the US Constitution, the same States may declare parts of the Constitution invalid and non-applicable to them.

    Of course the logical outcome of nullification would be to make the US Constitution an unenforceable and worthless document. Nevertheless the theory existed before the US Civil War, and was one of the arguments Southern States used in seceding from the Union. It is a dangerous argument with a tragic history, and people like Texas Governor Rick Perry sometimes allude to it when making threats about another secession.
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    May 01, 2014 2:59 PM GMT
    tj85016 said^^

    you can be married by a judge or a ship's captain, but I don't see how a legal system can press charges against a private organization (a church) for performing a ritual because it did something against their private beliefs

    The religious or "ritual" aspect of the ceremony, no. But a US marriage is always legally a State civil ceremony, never a religious one alone, for which State a marriage license is always required. A church (or synagogue) wedding is not legal without that license. And you'll find that when church weddings do occur that the minister/priest/rabbi who conducts the ceremony and signs the license has been authorized by the State to act on its behalf.

    So that a minister is actually conducting 2 concurrent ceremonies: religious and official State. But until the North Carolina law, a minister was free to conduct a religious-only marriage, which would have no legal State standing, purely religious symbolism. This has been the basis for church commitment ceremonies that were the only option for US same-sex couples until recently, and I attended a number of them in years past. Presumably the North Carolina law made them illegal, too.

    This is also why marriage by a judge is legal, because virtually all State & local judges and justices (except some minor administrative law judges) automatically have the State's authority. Ship's Captains have traditionally had marriage authority, when in international waters, because State jurisdiction is absent. However, when the newlyweds return to the US most States require the marriage documents be converted to State documents, though they may not require a new ceremony to be held. A shipboard document by itself may not be recognized in many jurisdictions and applications.
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    Jun 04, 2014 4:29 PM GMT
    UPDATE! And now, they're getting reinforcements!

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/06/03/4952335/rabbis-group-joins-nc-same-sex.html

    Charlotte ObserverThe Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Alliance of Baptists have made it official that they are joining as plaintiffs in a Federal District Court lawsuit opposing North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban.

    The United Church of Christ filed the lawsuit in April, challenging North Carolina’s state ban on same sex marriage. The suit is said to be the nation’s first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans.

    “This precludes rabbis from participating in one of the fundamental aspects of our Jewish religious traditions with respect to a specific segment of their congregations and communities,” said Rabbi Steven Fox, Chief Executive of the CCAR, in a statement. “Depriving rabbis of the freedom to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies in North Carolina stigmatizes our religious beliefs and relegates many of our congregants and community members to second-class status.”


    Wear your pants backwards. Today must be Opposite Day! icon_wink.gif