From left to right, the car’s bumper stickers read: “Hatred is Not a Family Value,” “Celebrate Diversity” (in rainbow colors), and “Obama-Biden.”
Collectively, these refreshed my growing fear that I should soon “celebrate” certain lifestyle choices or suffer the consequences. There was once another option, but memory of it is fading rapidly like an image in my rear view mirror.
Both the imperative tone and intolerance of the bumper messages are troubling; as is the shallow and muddled thinking behind them. A polite “no thank you” is now an unacceptable response to the colorful and demanding “celebrate”. It is time we rediscovered the validity of conscientious objection.
Conscientious objection is objection to an act, not a person. Equating conscientious objection with bigotry is unkind and a particularly egregious kind of ignorance. And restricting and penalizing the exercise of religiously-informed civil rights is simply wrong -- though in modern parlance it is “evolved” behavior.
Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jumping, New Zealand. Helena Jinx / Flickr
In the marriage debate, all eyes recently have been on Ireland, where a referendum has given the government a mandate to legalise same-sex marriage, and the United States, where a bare majority of the Supreme Court has saved holdout states the trouble of asking their citizens by finding a right to gay marriage in the Constitution.
We have noted on this blog a number of legal cases and controversies related in one way or another to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in some US states and in Britain.
But what has been the broader effect in the UK, and in other countries that have taken this step? Is there evidence of the harm to democracy, to free speech and religious liberty that dissenting judges pointed to in the recent US Supreme Court decision?
In the second article in this series Andrea Mrozek, Executive Director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada finds that SSM, legalised there nationally in 2005, is one of several trends affecting freedom of speech and religion.
It is the IMFC’s position that legalization of same-sex marriage (SSM) is an effect of a longer cultural trajectory away from Judeo-Christian norms. It is also a cause of new cultural and legal trends, yet the legalization of SSM must be viewed in its historical context. Many aspects of cultural change occurring now were happening before the legalization of SSM. Therefore, it is impossible to assign causation to SSM legalization.
In the third and last article in this series Kathy Gyngell, co-editor of The Conservative Woman blog, finds a trend in favour of gay rights and against freedom of religious expression and conscience.
Once support for same-sex marriage was established in the opinion polls from 2012 onwards, courts in the UK have sanctioned case after case of intolerance of private beliefs and private behaviour. You could call it legally endorsed bullying.
From wedding cakes and bed and breakfast accommodation to pressure on Catholic adoption agencies and sex education in the classroom, public pressure and legal rulings have gone one way – in favour of gay rights and against freedom of religious expression and conscience.
Kelvin Cochran, who was fired in January from his job as chief of Atlanta's fire service after giving a book about sex to some male work colleagues, wants his job back. He has appealed his dismissal to a federal court and is waiting for his case to be heard. In the video above he talks to Kelsey Harkness of The Daily Signal about the nature and significance of his case, which is in the hands of the Alliance Defending Freedom.
If Cochran had given his workmates a really gross book about sex such as Penthouse magazine, it’s very doubtful that anything would have happened. But the book in question was one he had put together himself on the Biblical meaning of sexuality, and it mentioned at one point that homosexual activity was a sin. Some LGBT activists got wind of it and complained to his boss at Atlanta City Hall.…
click here to read whole article and make comments
In yesterday’s issue of The Age, in Melbourne, three of the first five pages, including the lead article on the front page, were devoted to the same sex marriage issue. The content was almost totally in favor of same-sex marriage.
The previous day, all day, the mobile version lead item on the ABC news website, which normally changes several times in the course of a day, was a piece about “conservatives” in the Liberal Party blocking the same-sex marriage lobby. In fact 82 of 123 Liberal members are publically opposed to gay marriage.
Such inflammatory journalism is not in the interests of our society. An obvious rule of life is that one does not make important decisions when emotions are inflamed. It appears that news services are seeking to emotionalize this issue either by dint of policy or by a lack of editorial leadership, or both.
Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie interviews NZ Prime Minister and gay marriage supporter John Key at a forum in election year.
A New Zealand organisation promoting the natural family has won a decision from the country’s High Court that its political activities do not necessarily disqualify it as a charity.
Justice Collins ruled that Family First NZ’s advocacy of the traditional family makes it similar to “organisations that have advocated for the ‘mental and moral improvement’ of society” – that is, one of the classic types of charitable activity.
Family First was granted charitable status by the then Charities Commission in May 2007 but was served notice of deregistration by the Charities Board, which replaced the commission, in September 2012 during the run-up to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in April 2013.
Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court to legalise same-sex marriage is a milestone in the history of the sexual revolution. The Obama Administration celebrated the occasion with a rainbow light show projected onto the White House “to demonstrate [its] unwavering commitment to progress and equality”.
But revolutionary events don’t always turn out as the protagonists expect.
On January 23, 1793, the bloody head of His Most Christian Majesty Louis XVI was displayed to a cheering crowd. The revolutionaries of the new French republic had finally extinguished the ancien regime. As a modern historian writes, the king’s execution “had destroyed something forever. When the guillotine blade fell at 10:22 that morning a mystique was destroyed. Monarchy had been desecrated, desacralised.”
As the four dissenting opinions make abundantly clear, yesterday's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodgeshad nothing to do with the Constitution. This ruling is perhaps as clear of an example of judicial activism as any we have seen in recent years – or are likely (hopefully) to see in the future. The majority of the Court simply replaced the people’s opinion about what marriage is with its own. Nothing in the Constitution supplies an answer to the question What Is Marriage? And none of the purported rationales can justify the Court redefining marriage everywhere.
This ruling will likely cause harm to the body politic: to constitutional democratic self-government, to marriage itself, to civil harmony, and to religious liberty. Because of space constraints, I highlight these four harms with quotations solely from Chief Justice John Roberts’s dissent. (Needless to say, they could be amplified with quotations from Justices Antonin…
click here to read whole article and make comments
About five generations ago, our nation adopted the Fourteenth Amendment. In that same generation, our nation’s Supreme Court declared that “nothing was more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth” than “the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony.” Seemingly all American legal authorities concurred.
About five decades ago, for the first time ever, an American litigant claimed that our Constitution required the states to reject this view of marriage, and instead to issue marriage licenses to persons of the same sex. Upon hearing this claim, in 1972, the Supreme Court summarily rejected it as unserious, involving no “substantial federal question.” Seemingly all American legal authorities concurred.
Conjugality deals with the true nature of marriage and the challenges it faces today. Our current focus is on the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org