Discrimination against Religious Groups
Increasingly religious groups are becoming the focus of new discrimination and persecution at the hands of the radical social engineers. Homosexual activists are especially targeting religious groups, stripping away their rights. This is happening all over the Western world.
While many groups are disadvantaged when special rights for homosexuals are legalised, this is especially true for religious groups which may find themselves forced to renounce their own beliefs and practices to accommodate pro-homosexual legislation.
Homosexual activists falsely claim that no religious person or group will be adversely affected by pro-homosexual legalisation, not least of which the legalisation of same-sex marriage. But I have documented numerous such cases on this website.
They are becoming increasingly frequent and flagrant. More and more cases are being reported where religious liberties are under threat or are being denied because of homosexual activism. As but one general example, an article in National Public Radio focused on nine different areas where this has occurred.
In an article entitled, “When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash,” Barbara Bradley Hagerty looks at how homosexual activists have targeted housing, youth groups, wedding services, adoption services, medical services and parochial schools, among other religious bodies and services.
Let me focus on just one recent overseas example. Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C. have had to radically alter their policies because of the recent introduction of same-sex marriage there. As social commentator Charles Colson explains, “In connection with the new law, the D.C. Council insisted that, as a city contractor, Catholic Charities had to offer the same benefits to same-sex couples that it did to heterosexual ones. Catholic Charities had to choose between church teaching and ministering to the city’s neediest residents” as a result.
And here are several recent Australian examples. The Ten Network in Australia has dumped a long-running U.S. Christian television program when just one person (presumably a homosexual activist) complained that one episode aired at three in the morning was offensive. On the program it was simply said that ‘God does not approve of homosexuality’ yet that was enough for Ten to dump it altogether!
And a Christian campground in Victoria which refused to rent out its premises to homosexual activists was fined $5000 by VCAT. The judge said this: “”They are not entitled to impose their beliefs on others in a manner that denies them the enjoyment of their right to equality and freedom from discrimination in respect of a fundamental aspect of their being.”
How in the world is this discrimination against a fundamental aspect of their being? Not only is this pushing the pro-homosexual myth that homosexuals cannot change, but it is a complete furphy. There would be hundreds of campgrounds around Melbourne to choose from. Why did this homosexual group insist on just this one?
Whenever a new right is created, corresponding obligations come into play as well. If a state decrees that same-sex marriage is legal, then every individual and organisation dealing with marriage will be forced to ensure that these new rights are met and facilitated. Jews, Christians, Muslims and numerous other religious groups will all be forced to violate their own beliefs and teachings in this regard.
In a recent book an important chapter on all this was written by Roger Severino. Entitled “Or for poorer? How same-sex marriage threatens religious liberty,” it examines a number of past cases and potential future cases of how religious institutions suffer from the expansion of homosexual rights. He is worth quoting at length:
“The legal definition of marriage does not exist in isolation; changing it alters many areas of the law. For example, the definition of marriage plays an important role in the law of adoption, education, employee benefits, health care, employment discrimination, government contracts and subsidies, taxation, tort law, and trusts and estates. In turn, these legal regimes directly govern the ongoing daily operations of religious organizations of all stripes, including parishes, schools, temples, hospitals, orphanages, retreat centers, soup kitchens, and universities. Moreover, current law provides no room for non-uniform definitions of marriage within a state, it is all or nothing….
“Changes in marriage law impact religious institutions disproportionately because their role is so deeply intertwined with the public concept of marriage. . . . The specific consequences that will likely flow from legalizing same-sex marriage include both government compulsion of religious institutions to provide financial or other support for same-sex married couples and government withdrawal of public benefits from those institutions that oppose same-sex marriage. In other words, wherever religious institutions provide preferential treatment to husband-wife couples, state laws will likely require them to either extend identical benefits to same-sex married couples or withdraw the benefits altogether.”
Yet homosexual activists keep insisting that nothing will change, and religious people will face no ill effects, if same-sex marriage is legalised. This is blatantly false, and the activists know it. As U.S. Law Professor David Orgon Coolidge notes, “Of course the legalization of same-sex marriage will have dramatic effects; it is supposed to. The real debate is about whether these effects will be good.”
He looks at a number of such changes. Consider just the legal impact: “This includes federal benefits, but the main effects will be at the state level, in the areas of marriage-related benefits, anti-discrimination laws based on marital status, adoption and child custody laws, public and private school curricula, nonprofit contracts with State and local government, private groups using public facilities, and professional licensing standards for lawyers, doctors, social worker and teachers, among others.”
Obviously people with religious convictions who are concerned about same-sex marriage and the like will find themselves being discriminated against and penalised if they do not embrace and affirm this raft of legal and social changes. As already documented, this is already happening, and it will only get worse as more and more special rights are granted to homosexuals.
This anti-Christian bigotry and persecution will only get worse unless we wake up to what is happening and get involved in defending religious freedom. We must face the fact that the church is being aggressively targeted by radical homosexual activists, and we will soon lose it all if we don’t wake up to this and begin to speak out.
How all this pans out, in other words, is largely up to us.