There are now so many cases of freedom at risk, especially religious freedom, because of the homosexual rights’ campaign, that I have decided to write another book documenting all the recent cases of the “tolerance brigade” in action.
Trouble is, the book will be dated as soon as it appears. Guess I will just have to write yet another one after that. The cases are as relentless as they are shocking. Here I will briefly discuss two more such cases, and then offer some commentary from legal experts on this matter.
A few days ago we learned that “Boston cops must defer to transgender crooks”. Yep, you read that right. As the article says, “Criminals just got more rights in the city of Boston – at least, those who identify as transgender. According to new regulations, officers of the Boston Police Department must use a transgender suspect’s preferred first name, find out whether the person likes to be called ‘he’ or ‘she,’ allow him to choose whether male or female officers perform his frisking, and give any transgender inmate a private ride to and from court.
“New BPD rules say police must use the name anyone who is arrested prefers, ‘even if the individual has not received legal recognition of the adopted name.’ Policemen must also ‘respectfully ask the individual’ when they are ‘uncertain about which pronouns are appropriate.’ All friskings will be performed by two members of the sex the transsexual chooses, if at all possible.”
And then we have this appalling headline: “Professor Orders Students to Support Gay Rights”. The story opens: “A Tennessee community college professor ordered her students to wear ribbons supporting gay rights and said those who believed in the traditional definition of marriage are just ‘uneducated bigots’ who ‘attack homosexuals with hate,’ according to a legal firm representing several of the students in the class. Students in a general psychology class at Columbia State Community College were directed by their professor to wear ‘Rainbow Coalition’ ribbons for an entire day and express their support for the homosexual community, said Travis Barham, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Barham is calling for the college to punish Dr. Linda Brunton and order her to apologize to the students whose constitutional rights he believes were violated, according to a letter he sent to the community college president. ‘Dr. Brunton essentially turned her General Psychology class into a semester-long clinic on the demands of the homosexual movement,’ Barham said.”
Clearly a full-blown war has been declared against faith, freedom and family. At very real risk are such tremendous social goods as marriage and family; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience; and liberty and democracy.
Those who think that special rights for homosexuals – including the right to marriage – can be granted with everything remaining the same are just kidding themselves. Everything changes, as I have just documented. A recent article by Princeton University’s Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George highlights the dangers here:
“The fundamental error made by some supporters of conjugal marriage was and is, I believe, to imagine that a grand bargain could be struck with their opponents: ‘We will accept the legal redefinition of marriage; you will respect our right to act on our consciences without penalty, discrimination, or civil disabilities of any type. Same-sex partners will get marriage licenses, but no one will be forced for any reason to recognize those marriages or suffer discrimination or disabilities for declining to recognize them.’ There was never any hope of such a bargain being accepted.
“Perhaps parts of such a bargain would be accepted by liberal forces temporarily for strategic or tactical reasons, as part of the political project of getting marriage redefined; but guarantees of religious liberty and non-discrimination for people who cannot in conscience accept same-sex marriage could then be eroded and eventually removed. After all, ‘full equality’ requires that no quarter be given to the ‘bigots’ who want to engage in ‘discrimination’ (people with a ‘separate but equal’ mindset) in the name of their retrograde religious beliefs. ‘Dignitarian’ harm must be opposed as resolutely as more palpable forms of harm….
“The lesson, it seems to me, for those of us who believe that the conjugal conception of marriage is true and good, and who wish to protect the rights of our faithful and of our institutions to honor that belief in carrying out their vocations and missions, is that there is no alternative to winning the battle in the public square over the legal definition of marriage. The ‘grand bargain’ is an illusion we should dismiss from our minds.”
And Matthew J. Franck also weighs into what is at stake here. In a lengthy article he clearly demonstrates that when homosexual marriage rights are granted, that of necessity will dampen religious rights and diminish freedom. He is worth quoting at length:
“Churches and other religious organizations are major employers. They operate schools, universities, hospitals, hospices, and clinics; social service agencies, retirement homes, eldercare and childcare facilities, food pantries, and soup kitchens; and other charitable ministries of every kind. They employ teachers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors and clinicians, caregivers, food-service workers, housekeeping and grounds staff, even pool lifeguards. These religious ministries typically present themselves as equal opportunity employers, and they mean it.
“Can they continue to do so in the redefined-marriage legal regime? If a church ministry hires someone in a same-sex marriage, or employs someone who enters such a marriage; or if it declines to hire such a person, or treats him or her adversely if already employed—in any of these scenarios there is trouble ahead, if federal, state, or local employment law considers it wrongful discrimination to treat persons in same-sex marriages differently from men and women in marriages.
Education too will be in jeopardy: “And on the subject of universities and schools, consider the matter of the accreditation of higher-ed programs and whole institutions, and the control of curriculum in primary and secondary education. Already we can see individual degree programs compelled by accrediting bodies, in fields such as counseling, to conform themselves to the transformed understanding of marriage and sexuality, as some religiously dissenting students have discovered to their cost.
“Whole colleges and universities are themselves accredited by regional private accrediting associations—and the accreditors are in turn accredited by the US Department of Education, and recognized by the DOE as authoritative regarding which institutions grant valid degrees and enroll students eligible for federal aid of various kinds. If and when the regional accreditors and the DOE decide that the norm of ‘respect’ for same-sex marriage must pervade higher education, which religious colleges and universities will keep standing firm in the winds that will blow?”
“The ‘ministerial exception’ to employment discrimination law, affirmed 9-0 by the Supreme Court in the Hosanna-Tabor case in January 2012, will be no protection at all, since there is no way to shoehorn all these roles and functions into that exceptions category, no matter how broadly ‘minister’ is defined. But to date, there is no state that has seen fit to accommodate the religious conscience even of avowedly religious ministries in this respect, let alone the consciences of religious persons doing business in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
“Or consider public accommodations law, which can cover equal access to healthcare services, marriage and family counseling, daycare, adoption services, as well as religious schools and universities that are open to taking students of every faith or none at all. Churches and other religious bodies are among the largest providers of health, social service, and educational opportunities, but they understandably consider themselves obliged to provide them in keeping with the moral dictates of their faith.”
He concludes, “The transformation of the law to redefine the meaning of marriage will be bad for marriage, bad for children, and very bad indeed for those people of faith who want to maintain their faith’s teaching on marriage, in their religious institutions and in their work. The preservation of meaningful religious liberty, it turns out, is inseparable from the preservation, in our legal order, of the truth about marriage. They stand or fall together.”
If homosexuals were once the object of intolerance, the exact opposite is now the case. The oppressed have become the oppressor, and those who dare to stand in their way had better watch out. As Michael Brown rightly states, “Today, those who have come out of the closet are trying to put their ideological opponents into the closet; those preaching tolerance have become the most intolerant; those calling for inclusion are now the most exclusionary; those celebrating diversity demand absolute uniformity.”