Bill would let clergy refuse to wed gays

Discussion in 'Politics' started by traveler52, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. traveler52
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    traveler52 Active Member

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    San Francisco Chronicle Monday Februrary 1, 2010
    Bay Area Section
    http://www.sfgatecom.

    Same-Sex Marriage

    By Wyatt Buchanan
    Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

    Sacramento -

    Clergy members and churches would not face legal consequences for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, under a state bill being pushed by supporters of gay marrige.

    Same-Sex marriage is illegal in California, but that could change with a court decision or at the ballot box. Supporters of same-sex marriage want to alleviate concerns of those with religious objections. They also want to emphasize the seperation between civil and religious recognition of marriage.

    "We heard through the Prop. 8 debate great concern from certain clergy that their freedom of religion could be infringed upon and their tax-exempt status revoked," said the bills author, State Senator Mark Leno, (D-SF). "We want to clarify that by putting the constitutional guarantee of the First Amendment, freedom of religon, into the statute."

    The bill would apply to any religious objection to performing a marriage, not just between same-sex couples and states that no clergy member would be required to soleminze a marriage the conflicts with his or her faith. The bill states that refusing to do so "shall not affect the stax-exempt status of any entity."

    The threat of churches losing their tax-exempt status for refusing to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies was prominent in the campaign in of Prop. 8, the measure that reinstated the ban on those marriages in California.

    Backers of the legislation, including state's largest gay rights organization, said the bill also will clarify differences betwen civil and religious marriage. Teh proposal would place the word, "civil" in front of references to marriage.

    "There is confusion among many people whether a marriage licence is a civil document or a religious document. It's a civil document, and this is putting that in the code so there is no confusion," said Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California.

    Several religious organiztions support the measure, including the California Southern Baptist Convention, which supported Prop. 8. Terry Barone, a spokesman for the convention, called it "good legislation."

    "That certainly would seem to add protections for a clergy member who, for whatever reason, might be hesitant to perform a marriage ceremony," he said.

    The proposal also has the backing of California Church Impact, the advocacy arm of the California Council of Churches, which represents about 6,000 congregations and 6.5 million Californians according to the organization. That group opposed Prop. 8, even though its members were divided on the issue.

    Rick Schlosser, Executive Director of the advocacy group, call the proposal a "perfect bill" because of its recognition of religious freedom. He acknowledged however, that religious freedom includes the freedom to trat and lesbian couples differently from heterosexuals.

    "We very strongly oppose discrimination in any form anywhere, so that is an issue and concern for me. However, because some churches would refuse to perform sam-sex marriages dosen't deny a couple the right of getting married." Schlosser said.

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    In the interest of full, open and honest disclosure I will now inform members of this forum that I have in the past work as an un-paid volunteer for Senator Mark Leno. I worked on his last State Senate Campaign and on his final (due to term limits) campaign for State Assembly. I have attended and I have hosted Campaign Fund Raising Parties for Senator Mark Leno.
     
  2. EriktheRed
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    EriktheRed Eh...

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    Can't see anything wrong with that. Not every clergyman is gonna feel that way anyway, I'm sure.
     
  3. ihopehefails
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    ihopehefails BANNED

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    Do you mean to imply that when God says no that he can only say no when the state approves of it? No thanks.
     
  4. bodecea
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    bodecea Diamond Member

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    The 1st Amendment protects them...but if they would feel more comfortable with this repetitive law too....sure, why not?
     
  5. bodecea
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    bodecea Diamond Member

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    Oh dear...the words were too big for you, weren't they? :(
     
  6. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Clearly. :cuckoo:

    And of course you can't compel any religion to marry someone they don't want to marry... it's that whole separation of church and state thing. someone should tell the nutbar about it.
     
  7. traveler52
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    traveler52 Active Member

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    When exactly did "god" say no? Not Mark, but god? Jesus spoke against divorce, not same-sex marriage.
     

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