Robert Knight

Just recently, we have seen the federal Department of Health and Human Services trample the religious freedom of Catholic hospitals by ordering them to dispense contraceptives despite the church’s moral opposition.  If they think this is a bridge too far, wait until same-sex “marriage”  is imposed and bureaucrats begin to flex their enforcement muscles.

Georgetown University Law Prof. Chai Feldblum, whom President Obama appointed to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is one of the more honest gay activists.

Feldblum writes that when it comes to civil rights, “we are in a zero-sum game: a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.” 

I once asked Ms. Feldblum at a seminar if it bothered her that a Christian club would be thrown off a college campus for not having gay leaders or others who reject basic Christian doctrine. She shrugged, smiled and said, “Gays win, Christians lose.” I did admire her candor.

As an example of the legal vice about to close around Christian businesses, Ms. Feldblum has warned that bed and breakfast owners would not be free to deny rooms to homosexual couples (or to unmarried couples) regardless of the owners’ belief that they would be aiding and abetting what their faith teaches is sin.

Although Gov. O’Malley and other proponents of the same-sex marriage law tout exemptions for religious institutions, the bill offers no defense for devout employees or those who run businesses, and exemptions can always be overturned later.

Besides, if something is so immoral that it should not be forced on churches or church-run businesses, why is it okay to force it on everyone else? This is not like tax policy, in which the state (Caesar) realizes the limits of its earthly authority and church property is simply off limits.  There is nothing immoral per se in levying a general tax; there is something profoundly immoral, however, in forcing people to violate their consciences, which the creation of same-sex “marriage” does in many ways.

In Boston and the District of Columbia, “gay marriage” drove Catholic Charities, the largest provider of homes for orphans, out of the adoption business. Massachusetts schools now teach kindergarteners through picture books that two men constitute a marriage. A father who objected and refused to leave his child’s school unless assured that they would not be propagandized without parental notification was jailed.  He sued, but lost in the Massachusetts court system. Orphans, kindergarteners and protective fathers, it seems, are just collateral damage to social engineers.

Last year, when this bill came up, Maryland lawmakers got an earful from many church leaders and members who grasped the dangers of something so fundamentally immoral being imposed by law.  What was billed as a harmless extension of tolerance, they realized, would become a battering ram against faith-based morality. The dangers are just as severe now.

I urge legislators to consider that the drive to legally impose same-sex “marriage” is neither inevitable nor irreversible, despite the media’s blatantly biased treatment of this issue. 

However, should Maryland take this step, the damage to freedom – particularly religious freedom – could be incalculable.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.