“Will Gay Rights Trample Religious Freedom?”

Yes, says Marc D. Stern of the American Jewish Congress in the Los Angeles Times. See also Christian Science Monitor.

See also GetReligion.

Even more at Volokh Conspiracy, including these facts (culled from an NPR report):

*Adoption services: Catholic Charities of Boston refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. The group withdrew from the adoption business in 2006.

*Housing: In New York City, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a school under Orthodox Jewish auspices, banned same-sex couples from its married dormitory. In 2001, the state’s highest court ruled Yeshiva violated New York City’s ban on sexual orientation discrimination and the school now lets same-sex couples live in the dorm.

*Medical services: On religious grounds, a Christian gynecologist in California refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship. (He referred the patient to a partner in his practice group, who agreed to provide the treatment.) The woman sued and the case is pending before the California Supreme Court, which is expected to rule in favor of the lesbian.

*Civil servants: A clerk in Vermont refused to perform a civil union ceremony. In 2001, in a decision that side-stepped the religious liberties issue, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that he did not need to perform the ceremony because there were other civil servants who would. However, the court did indicate that religious beliefs do not allow employees to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Wedding services: A same sex couple in Albuquerque asked a photographer to shoot their commitment ceremony. The photographer declined, saying her Christian beliefs prevented her from sanctioning same-sex unions. The couple sued, and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the photographer guilty of discrimination and ordered her to pay the couple’s legal fees. The photographer is appealing.

Wedding facilities: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of New Jersey, a Methodist organization, refused to rent its boardwalk pavilion to a lesbian couple for their civil union ceremony. The couple filed a complaint with the state civil rights commission. The commission ruled that the property was open for public use and therefore the Methodist group could not discriminate against gay couples using it. The case is ongoing.

4 thoughts on ““Will Gay Rights Trample Religious Freedom?”

  1. oh jezus maria please we all know by now that religion poisons everyone it touches, its filled with homophobic hatred!! get a life ,its all over, california again leads the way with civil rights for everyone!!
    please do not remove my post !! WE ARE QUEER AND WE ARE HERE!!!!!!

  2. Civil rights for everyone but folks like yourself, you mean. In the name of tolerance, intolerance. You confirm my point.

  3. Maybe NPR doesn’t understand that people can’t implement their religious ideals into the public sector. If they COULD, that would open up MANY MORE exclusions, like because someone’s black, mormon, red-haired, whatever they WANT.

    Sorry, but we’re not going to allow that to happen, and it’s definitely NOT your religious right to force it upon others in the public sector.

  4. “The public sector”? Well, the constitution is pretty clear, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It doesn’t make a distinction between “public” and “private”–indeed, if it did, we would be no different than the old Soviet Union or the present Saudi Arabia, both of which insist they allow religious liberty, as long as you keep it to yourself.

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