May 21, 2009

What's Up With New Hampshire's Governor??

I read on CNN that Gov. Lynch of New Hampshire has made the same-sex marriage bill that passed the House and Senate hit a snag.

What the governor did was refuse to sign the bill into law unless there is a specific provision that protects religious institutions from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Huh? What does religion have to do with civil rights? It sounds to me like Gov. Lynch, who's a Democrat by the way, is catering to the religious right's paranoia.

To hear some churches tell it, all of us gay folks are just dying to get married in their church and if we have legal marriage rights, then we'll run down to the local Baptist church and demand they perform our wedding ceremony or face legal wrath. I don't know if it's arrogance or ignorance, or both, but having legal same-sex marriage doesn't give us the right to tell a church what ceremonies to perform! Come on. Do they really believe that to be the case?

I submit that the religious right knows they are losing the same-sex marriage battle on moral grounds and now they are using the tactic of saying that legalizing the unions would infringe on their religious liberties as a way to fight us. They are grasping at straws, but apparently Gov. Lynch has bought it, hook, line and sinker!

The law doesn't need to specifically protect churches from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies because there is no legal basis for forcing any church to perform any ceremony that they don't believe in. It's just not there. There is no connection and there should be no connection. Separation of church and state says that the government shall make no establishment of a state religion OR prohibit the free exercise thereof. That means a specific religion cannot tell government how they should rule and government can't tell religion how they should worship. It's so simple!

So, I hope that the New Hampshire government gets it's act together and does the right thing. Civil rights should never be denied because of religious intolerance. Religious liberty must be protected, but not at the cost of denying civil rights. You see where I'm going here?

As a Christian, I have been so offended by the Church of late. Instead of focusing on telling people of God's great love for them and how they can know that love, they focus on making sure that two people who love each other and want to get married and "settle down" together cannot legally do that. For some reason, they've decided that my relationship is more important than spreading the Gospel! For shame. For shame.

3 comments:

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  2. I stand adamately convinced that far too much attention is focused on same sex marriage legislation in the gay community. I believe, from personal experience, that today young gays are profoundly effected by the loss of any Gay Leadership and Gay Pride of the Harvey Milk era. If a young gay "came out" he came out with the support and strength of the Gay Community. An 18 year old gay coming out today is alone, surrounded by a powerful Conservative Christian Coalition which even our government bows to. He is told he is going to hell, he is told that only Jesus can save him, he is told that being gay is a choice. During the heyday of Gay Pride the young gay coming out was supported by the Gay Community. Today that community has disapeared - and been replaced by religious homophobes. Of course same sex marriage is only fair and right for all of us, but where are our priorities? I see too many gays getting married, moving into their white picket gay-fenced homes and insulating themselves from the rest of the gay community. There are more incidences of gay hate crime (http://gaylife.about.com/od/hatecrimes/a/statistics.htm) and young gay suicides (30% off all 18-24 year old suicides are committed by gays/6% of the population)today than ever in our history. We must focus attention on legislation which supports the safety of young gays. Same sex marriage is wonderful step for gay equality, but so is legislation for teens and young gays which protects them from being harrassed at school, beaten on the streets, kicked from their homes and told by the church they are evil. 30% of ALL YOUNG SUICIDES ARE COMMITTED BY GAYS !!!

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  3. I think we can do two things at once, Zachariel. The Congress passed a hate crimes bill recently, for example. Gay marriage is very important to all of us. I too believe that young gays need help from our community. I try to help every way I can. However, saying that gays coming out today have no support is really a broad statement. There are all kinds of community organizations for our youth. I agree we can do better, though. No young person should feel threatened for being who they are!

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