Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Californian churches hate freedom

An unfortunate article secreted by my RSS feed today is about how 1 million Californian Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Muslims, evangelical Christians, Sikhs and Hindus are planning to protest in support of Proposition 8, which would repeal the legalization of gay marriage.

According to Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Church, "if Proposition 8 fails, there is an inevitable loss of religious freedom."

What I don't understand is the notion that someone's religious freedom has been diminished by allowing gay marriage. Sure, if gay marriage were outlawed then one thing we can all agree on is that someone's right has been taken away. Whether or not this is a good thing is what's open for debate, but what nobody can deny is that gay people have had a right - the right to marriage - repealed.

On the other hand, if gay marriage is legal then how is religious freedom lost? Religious folks can still get married and church clergy can still refuse to perform certain wedding ceremonies on an individual level (such as Catholic priests being allowed to refuse performing marriage for divorced people, even though divorce is legal), so exactly what right is no longer there?

Maybe I'm just being thick, so perhaps someone can explain to me how this is not a ridiculous hypocrisy.

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