Monday, February 8, 2010

Gay Marriage and Religious Liberty

Conservative churches claim the legalization of gay marriage threatens their religious freedom. A religious coalition in support of the legalization of gay marriage points out that the religious conservatives have it exactly backward.


  1. Don't say "conservatives" have it backward; say "the religious right" has it backward. Conservatives are not against equality- and that goes back to the founders of the movement. For example, listen to this from an article about Ronald Reagan that appeared in the Independent Gay Forum :"In 1978, for example, Reagan vigorously opposed a California ballot initiative sponsored by religious conservatives that would have barred homosexuals from teaching in the public schools. The timing is significant because he was then preparing to run for president, a race in which he would need the support of conservatives and moderates very uncomfortable with homosexual teachers. As Cannon puts it, Reagan was “well aware that there were those who wanted him to duck the issue” but nevertheless “chose to state his convictions.”

    Reagan penned an op-ed against the so-called Briggs Initiative in which he wrote, “Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual's sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child's teachers do not really influence this.” This was a remarkably progressive thing for a politician, especially a conservative one about to run for president, to say in 1978. The Briggs Initiative was overwhelmingly defeated. Its sponsors blamed Reagan for the defeat."

  2. A fair point. In using "conservatives" I meant "religious conservatives" and so I've edited the linking phrase accordingly, and stipulate that by that I mean the "religious right."

    I'm no conservative but I certainly respect many who call themselves such -- such as Andrew Sullivan.

    I was never a fan of Reagan, but I have to say, I wonder if these days his own party would see him as too soft.

  3. Well, as Reagan said about the Democratic party, "I didn't leave them; they left me." That describes a whole lot of former Republicans these days. (including myself)


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