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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Coercing the Clergy

According to the Associated Press, "Georgia's governor on Monday vetoed legislation allowing clergy to refuse performing gay marriages and protecting people who refuse to attend the ceremonies, after an outcry and threats of boycotts from some large corporations and Hollywood stars." The move was all about "protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people." (Just an idle question here ... has there been much discrimination against bisexuals? Never mind.)

As it stands now, with this veto, based on the text of HB 757, it is legal in the state of Georgia to require religious officials to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion (right from the text) and to infringe on the religious freedom of property owners of religious institutions or owners and employees of businesses. You may argue that religious freedom is protected, but the law, along with Coca-Cola, the NFL, other big-name companies, and prominent Hollywood figures and studios all appear to disagree with you.

The governor, a Republican, in vetoing a bill put out by the Republican-led legislature, said, "I do not respond very well to insults or to threats. The people of Georgia deserve a leader who will make sound judgments based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion." By which he apparently means, "I do not respond very well to threats. I succumb to them." The governor said, "Georgia is a welcoming state; it is full of loving, kind and generous people." I assume that excludes welcoming people with religious convictions. Matt McTighe, executive director for Freedom for All Americans, said, "We thank Governor Deal for doing the right thing." I would guess that "Freedom for All Americans" necessarily excludes clergy or other people with religious convictions. These Christians are saying, "You may believe that it's right to change the definition of marriage, but I don't, so please exclude me from this." The loudest voices in response are saying, "No! You will agree with our view on this and forego your religious convictions -- even the clergy. Or suffer the consequences."


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The guy has absolutely no spine, plain and simple.

David said...

Did I read that right? If I live in Georgia and have a gay cousin "marrying" his gay lover, I can't refuse to go based on my religious conviction? I have to lie and say I just can't make it?

Stan said...

That is what it looks like.