Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What we'll have in store if civil unions much less homosexual marriage becomes the law of the land -- attacks on religious liberties.

A recent decision in New Jersey found a Methodist church group, which refused to rent out its property for a civil union ceremony, guilty of discrimination which will mean either fines or a requirement that they rent out the facility for civil union ceremonies. No doubt similar actions will be taken against churches once homosexual marriage becomes the law.

This decision merely highlights where society is headed if homosexual marriage becomes the law of the land. There's no doubt in my mind that homosexual activists and their kindred spirits will impose acceptance on those who disagree with them.

Again, supposed claims of "tolerance" and "respect for diversity" are only a way one way street.


Troy said...


Not so fast.

While it is true that the civil ceremony may have to be performed on the property, the Church traded their right of oversight for tax benefits. The entire case is here:

Specifically, "However, an investigation found that the refusal to permit the civil union ceremony violated the public accommodation provisions of the state’s Law Against Discrimination and did not violate First Amendment Rights. The Division investigation found that the Camp Meeting Association had been permitting the public to use the Boardwalk Pavilion for weddings and secular events and that the Association had gained a Green Acres tax exemption from the state Department of Environmental Protection nearly 20 years ago after a finding that the Pavilion will be open to the public “on an equal basis.” (Following filing of the civil rights complaint, the DEP rejected a renewal of the Green Acres tax exemption for the Boardwalk Pavilion in September 2007.)

The Finding of Probable Cause states in part, “When it invites the public at large to use it, the Association is subject to the Law Against Discrimination, and enforcement of that law in this context does not affect the Association’s constitutionally protected right to free exercise of religion.”

This does not correlate to churches being forced to perform ceremonies or gays invading churches.

The Strib article is incomplete and misleading. While I understand your concern, I do not think they are valid.

David said...

The Methodist group did, indeed, receive a religious tax exemption for more than 90 percent of their property--the part of their property that is used for a religious purpose. They just didn't get a religious tax exemption for a bit of other property, the pavilion, that did not qualify as being religious. The pavilion was used for secular events. The Methodist group, therefore, applied for a "Green Acres" tax classification on that pavilion, which is a tax classification intended for property kept open to the public for public use. Gays are part of the public. When the Methodist group opposed the use of that property by the gay public, they no longer qualified for the "Green Acres" tax exemption, and lost it. However, to repeat myself, the Methodist group did, most assuredly, get a religious tax exemption on every bit of their property that is used for a religious purpose. Therefore, I, too, do not agree that this tax exemption issue was a valid concern.