November 14, 2009

Are Clergy's Rights Being Violated By Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage?

That's the question a "PFLAG dad" named Ron Goetz is asking. He is proposing a lawsuit based on that premise. Here is the story posted on Cross Left:

Turning the Tables on the Bigots
Here is an interesting approach. Ronald Goetz, a "Proud PFLAG Dad" is proposing a lawsuit on behalf of clergy and churches whose rights are being violated because they cannot perform marriages for same-gender couples. This is a turn the tables approach on those Christians who argue that marriage equality somehow violates their freedom of religion. What do you think? Mr. Goetz is looking for advice and input.

"Proposed Class-Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Churches and Ordained Clergy Because of the Violation of their First Amendment Right to Free Exercise of Religion"

There are many denominations that are on record as supporting Marriage Equality and want to marry same-sex couples as a matter of religious faith.

There are thousands of Open and Affirming congregations nationwide that support Marriage Equality and want to marry same-sex couples as a matter of religious faith.

There are additional thousands of ordained clergy who want to marry same-sex couples because of their religious faith.

The first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Congress includes state and local jurisdictions, which cannot violate your civil rights either.

Thousands of churches and ordained clergy are being denied the free exercise of their religion in violation of their first amendment right.

I urge that this violation of the constitution be resisted through a class-action lawsuit, or some other appropriate vehicle. We are also guaranteed the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

I would like responsible parties (clergy, denominational officials, attorneys) and enthusiastic supporters to contact me. I need input, encouragement, and pro bono advice.

Please contact me at [at] hotmail [dot] com and let me know what you think. Thanks!

And please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

Ronald Goetz
Proud PFLAG Dad

(Above courtesy of Rev. John Shuck of

We are very skeptical that this is a viable approach but nonetheless applaud Mr. Goetz for thinking outside the box. What do you think?

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