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The Right's Bait and Switch on Same-Sex Marriage

August 2, 2013 in Economics

By David Lampo

David Lampo

The opponents of same-sex marriage have thrown out many arguments against it, most of them without a rational basis or designed simply to obscure their real reason for opposition: They simply don’t think homosexuals deserve the same legal rights that they do. 

These arguments are mostly falling on deaf ears, apparently, since public opinion continues to change in favor of marriage equality, but that doesn’t stop opponents from using half truths, misrepresentations, or even outright lies to advance their agenda.

One of their favorite arguments of late is that legalizing same-sex marriage will somehow lead to restrictions on religious liberty, even “criminalization” of religious opposition to homosexuality, and many conservative religious leaders and pundits are now making this argument the centerpiece of their campaign against gay marriage. Politicians that pander to them are speaking out as well, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, the Tea Party Republican from Texas making waves on Capitol Hill for his strident defense of conservative social issues.

He recently told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, for example, that “other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage” are punishing “Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages” and who “speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” warning that could happen here. A scary thought, to be sure, certainly one that seems to merit the concern of every freedom-loving conservative and libertarian in this country.

Except that it’s not true. 

Cruz and other opponents of same-sex marriage point to the 2003 case of a Swedish Pentecostal minister named Aake Green, who was taken to court for comparing homosexuality to cancer, as the perfect example of the slippery slope gay marriage will put us on. His 2004 conviction, however, had nothing to do with gay marriage, which didn’t even exist at the time. Aake was charged under Sweden’s hate crimes statute. Unlike America, many European countries lack the free speech guarantees we take for granted. Even in Sweden, however, his conviction was ultimately overturned. Apparently, facts rarely get in the way of a politician or a preacher on a mission.

The same is true here in the United States. Opponents of same sex marriage cannot point to a single case where a church or religious institution in America has been forced to conduct or sanction a same sex wedding. In fact, those states that have adopted same-sex marriage have instituted strict protections for the right of churches to refuse …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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