The GOP Is Changing, And That’s Good
Nikki Haley Keeps Making a Mess of Things
Don’t Get Too Excited About California’s Senate Race Just Yet
Climate Catastrophizing Finally Backfiring on Radical Environmentalists
Separation of Church and State
Will Nikki Haley Claim The Declaration of Independence, Constitution ‘Not the Same’ and...
GOP Leaders, Listen to Your Base
Conspiracy Theories on the Right are Finally Being Proven True
Airdrops and Elections
I’m Running for Congress to Take Action and Deliver Results
Gavin Newsom Visits the Southern Border After Handing Out Freebies to Illegal Migrants
Ted Cruz: 'Joe Biden Campaigned on Dismantling the Southern Border'
Biden's Sending More Aid to Gaza, but That's Not the Only Issue
Joe Biden's 2024 Chances Look Grim As Trump Tops the Polls
Hundreds of J6 Cases Could Be Shortened in Massive Court Win

FIRST-PERSON: Religious liberty & the case against gay 'marriage'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BP)--The effort to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples will have an unprecedented effect on religious freedom. Those who don't believe that don't understand the nature of the battle.


Because as odd as it may sound, the campaign to redefine marriage isn't primarily about marriage. Rather, it's about the desire of same-sex couples to have their relationships validated; to have them free from criticism, state-generated or otherwise. That's the key to understanding the fight for marriage. Marriage, to those who would redefine it, is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself.

As long as believers and other people of good will say that marriage can't be redefined and that homosexual behavior is wrong, they will be subject to persecution. And if efforts to redefine marriage through the law are successful, orthodox Christians will be subject to persecution.

Some may think that's hyperbole. I wish it were, but the truth is that there are already cases of religious persecution all over the country. Take the recent resignation of Peter Vidmar as chief of mission for the U.S. Olympic team. Vidmar was forced out because he had the temerity to engage in "anti-gay activism" by attending a couple of rallies and making a donation to support California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. That cost him his job.

Many on the left celebrated Vidmar's resignation as an example of the movement's growing power, like this boast from the Courage Campaign's anti-Proposition 8 website: "How far we've come on this issue: to create a firestorm and make it clear that someone who supports separate but unequal because of his religious beliefs is not appropriate to represent the United States."


Other examples abound; here are just a few:

-- A New Mexico state court found that a wedding photography company engaged in "sexual-orientation discrimination" when it refused for religious reasons to photograph a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony, and the court ordered the company to pay over $6,000 to the same-sex couple. It did not matter that there were plenty of other photographers available for the job.

-- A Vermont same-sex couple filed a discrimination complaint against a small family-owned-and-operated inn when the owner expressed some reluctance to host the couple's wedding ceremony because of his religious beliefs about marriage.

-- In New Jersey, the state has vigorously prosecuted a Methodist group for not allowing a same-sex couple to use its facilities for civil union ceremony.

-- A Virginia municipality's human-rights commission ordered a video-duplication business to copy two documentaries promoting homosexual behavior, even though the business owner said that producing the material would violate his religious and ethical values.

-- Adoption agencies run by Catholic charities in Boston, Washington, D.C., and most recently Illinois have been forced to close rather than place adoptive children with same-sex couples in violation of their religious beliefs.


If advocates for redefining marriage are successful, they won't stop at marriage. They won't stop until their opposition is either converted or silenced.

It's time to redouble our efforts, while we still have the freedom to.

Dale Schowengerdt serves as legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund and litigates as a member of the marriage litigation team. This column first appeared on the Center for Arizona Policy's Foundations blog, online at

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

Join the conversation as a VIP Member


Trending on Townhall Videos