The Religious Right likes to moan about their “religious freedom.” When they do this, it is useful to remember two things:
1. They do not care about anyone’s religious freedom but their own, because for them, “religious freedom” is actually code for their belief that the true practice of their religion necessarily includes lording it obnoxiously over everyone else.
2. They actually believe that they speak for a majority of religious Americans. They don’t.
But you see, the times are changing. Many churches in the South perform same-sex weddings! There are several in my neighborhood, in fact. They may not be legally sanctioned, but as church rites go, they’re just the same as heterosexual marriages. The Religious Right wants to have it both ways, though. They want to have their rights to perform only the marriages they want protected [as they should], but they also want to butt into state affairs and decide who can and cannot get married in a civil contract. Meanwhile, they also seek to deny loving churches the ability to perform same-sex weddings if they so choose.
A church in Kentucky has decided to take a stand. Think Progress:
Members of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church, located in Louisville, KY, unanimously voted to stop signing marriage licenses for heterosexual couples until same-sex couples are afforded equal marriage rights. The decision comes at the same time that a CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans now support legalizing same-sex marriages, the fourth poll to show similar results in the past eight months.
In 2008, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church (DBCC) decided to designate itself an Open and Affirming Community of Faith, signifying its “commitment to full acceptance of all people, regardless of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation,” and this decision keeps it in line with those values, church leaders said. The church will continue to perform religious wedding ceremonies but will no longer sign official licenses, according to an official release on its web site.
Read the whole piece, because all too often the Religious Right pretends that it speaks for religious Americans. That is a laughable claim. The bigots of our society dwindle in number every year, either due to changed hearts and minds or due to the fact that, as a segment of the population, they skew much older. Meanwhile, religious congregations all over the country are unable to treat their parishioners equally when it comes to something as simple as marriage. And as the polls have been showing, the public officially supports marriage equality. It’s sad that this church has been put in this position, but we applaud them for their principled stand.