Religious Protections Key To NY Gay Marriage Vote

Written by Dan. Posted in America, Featured, In the News, Politics, Religion, Society & Culture

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Published on June 27, 2011 with No Comments

Gay marriage was legalized in New York State on Friday. After a turbulent and lengthy debate, intense emotions on both sides of the aisle, and a climactic vote, gay marriage achieved a narrow victory 33-29. Interestingly, The NY Senate, currently with a Republican majority, voted to approve the bill whereas back in 2009 this bill was rejected by a Democratic led Senate. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure. NY is now 1 of 6 states that allow gay marriage.

Many people are undoubtedly upset or disappointed with the outcome of this vote; many could be sour at the Republicans who joined Democrats in supporting the bill. But there a couple things to keep in mind. First is the saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”, meaning if you make enough noise and draw enough attention to yourself you may eventually get what you want. Point is, the gay marriage issue is not going away; it will continue to resurface and demand rights. Even the states that have passed laws, referendums and constitutional amendments against it will inevitably revisit the issue. For better or for worse, persistence pays off.

But I want to focus on the silver lining in this situation. My greatest concern in issues like gay marriage is that gay rights begin to supersede the rights of those who don’t agree with homosexuality and not only trump those rights but intrude upon them because they are opposed to each other. Conflict is inevitable. It is already politically incorrect to disagree with homosexuality, and many times disagreement is twisted into hate speech (a convenient twist). The next step is to penalize and punish disagreement. Churches and ministers already have to worry about being sued and shut down if they refuse to marry a gay couple in their church – if they simply assert their right to their beliefs. And this was the pivotal issue in the NY gay marriage debate. In fact, it was probably the deciding factor in the bill being approved.

Republican senators inserted crucial language into the bill which basically established “expansive protections for religious organizations”. This amendment to the bill protects churches and religious organizations from the threat of lawsuits and also from government penalties for refusing to marry gays. These protections “sealed the deal” giving those Senators concerned with religious liberties ample satisfaction that those liberties would be thoroughly protected.

Gay marriage is law in NY but now no church, chapel, pastor or priest should have to fear punishment for standing by their beliefs and convictions.


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