The Washington State Legislature is considering passing a bill that would allow same-sex couples in the state to “marry.” This bill is the latest, of course, in the homosexual agenda’s march to abolish the definition of marriage. Normally a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” would be bad enough. But this bill goes a step farther and poses a clear and present danger to the religious freedom of churches. Section 7 of the SB 6239 says the following:
Consistent with the law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, no religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale.
Let me break down this legalese. What this bill says is that if a church rents out its facilities for non-members to use for weddings, then it will be forced to allow a same-sex couple to use its facilities for a same-sex “marriage” ceremony. Many, if not most churches, will rent their facilities to members of the public who want to use the church building to get married. Most churches will generally ensure that the people who are using the facilities are not going to use them in a way that is inconsistent with the church’s religious faith and mission. But the State of Washington is considering forcing churches to open their sanctuaries to same-sex “wedding” ceremonies.
Lest you think this is an isolated occurrence, a judge in New Jersey recently ordered that a church must allow its facilities to be used for same-sex “wedding” ceremonies despite the church’s religious beliefs against such relationships. The Judge’s rationale in ordering the church to open its facility to same-sex “weddings” was that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.”
All of this might sound surprising and troubling – and it is. But for those who understand the inherent and unavoidable conflict between the radical homosexual agenda and religious freedom, the Washington Legislature’s bill and the New Jersey church case are simply sad reminders that we face a culture and a society increasingly willing to trample religious freedom in the name of sexual liberty. Consider Chai Feldblum, President Obama’s appointed head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the EEOC). Ms. Feldblum heads the agency tasked with eliminating discrimination in the workplace. When she was asked what should happen “when push comes to shove, when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict,” she admitted, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.” For those like Feldblum, the New Jersey judge, and the Washington State legislators in favor of SB 6239, the church’s freedom to follow its own religious beliefs simply do not matter. As the New Jersey judge put it, the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Put simply, religious freedom takes a back seat to sexual liberty.
It’s not too late to stop this radical attack on religious freedom. As one court put it, the freedom of religion contained in the First Amendment is our “first freedom.” The Washington State Legislators in favor of SB 6239 need to be reminded of this fact by a vocal populace that is tired of having sexual liberty foisted on society at the expense of religious freedom. Speak Up now before it is too late. And stand with ADF as we fight these battles in New Jersey and elsewhere.