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You're still missing the primary detail I mentioned. The chapel in question is a business, not a church. It doesn't matter if it is run by ministers. It is still subject to the same rules and regulations as a business. Refusing to marry a same-sex couple at a business falls under the anti-discrimination laws in this state. It's not a violation of the free exercise clause because this doesn't qualify as religious expression. It qualifies as a business transaction. And businesses, under the law, cannot discriminate. In a business that serves the public, it doesn't matter whether a person's religious beliefs are violated. It only matters that they follow the same rules as other businesses.
It doesn't matter if ministers run the chapel. If it is treated and taxed like a business, then it is subject to the same rules as all businesses.
Mr. Limbaugh is missing one very important detail of this story that makes this story of "Christian Victimhood" utterly absurd. Wedding chapels are not always religious in nature. They sometimes do fall under the guise of a business. That's why throughout this country, it's possible to find a wide array of wedding chapels offering a wide array of services, many of which aren't religious in nature. There's an entire street of Las Vegas that's lined with wedding chapels, few of which offer anything religious. As such, the chapels operate as businesses, not churches. And because they operate as businesses, they cannot discriminate in states where homosexuals are part of anti-discrimination laws. Now arguing the merits of anti-discrimination laws is an important debate to have, but that's not what Limbaugh did here. He framed this as Christians being victims instead. That completely ignores the context of this case. In the context of a business, the ministers at these chapels are seeking to grant their business the same rights as that of a church. A church can't be forced to perform weddings under the law because it isn't a business. But a chapel can. Seeking this kind of recourse just to deny homosexuals the ability to marry doesn't come off as noble or admirable. It comes off as petty and insecure. That's not the mark of victims. That's the mark of bigotry. All this fear-mongering about what same-sex marriage means to Christianity is only discrediting the faith and religion in general. If religious people can become victims just because two people of the same gender want to get married, then what message does that send? Is it really a show of strength and piety? It's this kind of absurdity that will lead more and more people away from religion. For a religion that's as dominant and powerful as Christianity, seeking victimhood to win the argument against same-sex marriage is missing the point of religion as a whole.
A business is different from a religious service. Under many state anti-discrimination laws (which vary from state to state), a business cannot be subject to the same protections as a church. Chapels aren't always religious in nature. Just go to Las Vegas for proof of that. It's a matter of what constitutes a religious service and what constitutes a business service.
Here's another question that the professional victims must ask. Has anyone ever died from being too offended? Has anyone ever suffered serious medical issues from being offended? The line between actual and perceived harm is not always clear, but from a purely pragmatic perspective the laws can only deal with that which is tangible and measurable. Making arguments that twist perception with reality only leads to a flawed kind of justice.
This is a good article in the sense that points out the absurdity of overplaying the role of the victim. The universe as a whole is not obliged to cater to those who are easily offended. Words and actions have consequences, but they need not have more power than they deserve. It used to be that if it neither picked one's pocket nor harmed one's person, then the dispute involved is private and should remain as such. Does the use of certain words, the names of certain football teams, and the beliefs of certain groups fit either of those criteria? If not, then any dispute beyond that is unreasonable. My only problem with the article is that Hawkins overlooks how major groups like Christians have played up their victimhood. Christians wield more power and influence than any other group in the country. It is next to impossible for anyone to be elected into public office who doesn't profess some form of Christianity. Saying Christians are the victims just because they have to tolerate the rights of minorities is unreasonable. It doesn't just apply to minorities, nor should it.
God didn't make any rules about homosexuality. Men did in the books they wrote about God. The only thing God has shown about homosexuality is that it's remarkably common. It's in so many animal species that I think it counts as a pretty clear sign that God doesn't care about it. These rules people speak of are not divine. They are the products of institutions claiming divinity. The Catholic Church is just one such institution. It has no more authority to claim it knows how God feels about homosexuals than any other of the 2,500 denominations that make up Christianity.
No, the bible says that. God didn't write the bible. Men wrote it. Ancient, pre-modern, bigoted men who lived in a repressive culture full of outdated traditions and taboos that are demonstrably wrong. This is fact. Don't worship a book over God.
SeeingDouble, it would not be a matter of more spaces on the form. The language for many marriage laws, as I understand it, is worded to two individuals. Changing those words is one thing. Changing the impact is a far greater challenge, especially in cases involving custody and inheritance. And how exactly would permitting same-sex marriage add to the "expense" of marriage? What does that even mean. And I'm not sure you know as much about legal precedents either. Look up the Loving v. Virginia case. The same arguments were used against same-sex marriage were used against inter-racial marriage as well, so much so that during some testimonies people would recite the same arguments. People of the past would appeal to tradition, morality, religion, or claim it was bad for children. Those arguments didn't work then. So why should they apply now? All those other effects you mentioned like cohabitation have nothing to do with same-sex marriage. They're complete non-sequiters. I'm surprised you even left out things that actually have been shown to negatively effect marriage like divorce laws, alimony laws, biased child custody laws, and massive student debt. These do affect marriage. Homosexuals do not.
In response to:

Stop Calling It Marriage Equality

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Oct 10, 2014 12:05 PM
Please do some more research into the biological components of homosexuality. If it was so destructive, then it wouldn't be so prevalent in so many other species, especially mammals. Research has shown that homosexuality does confer certain benefits, often indirectly to a species. And history has shown that homosexuality has been present in every civilization in some form or another. Some of those civilizations ended up being quite successful. Your misrepresentation of what homosexuality is does warrant denying same-sex couples their right to marry.
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