NOM BLOG

FoxNews: Proposed Kansas Law Would Force Churches to Host Gay Weddings

 

Todd Starnes at FOX News & Commentary:

Religious liberty groups are blasting a proposed ordinance that would force churches in Hutchinson, Kan. to rent their facilities for gay weddings and gay parties.

The Hutchinson City Council will consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes in the city’s human relations code. They are expected to vote on the changes next month.

According to the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, churches that rent out their buildings to the general public would not be allowed to discriminate “against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.”

Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the Human Relations Commission confirmed to Fox News that churches would be subjected to portions of the proposed law.

“They would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals,” Dye said. “That type of protection parallels to what you find in race discrimination. If a church provides lodging or rents a facility they could not discriminate based on race. It’s along that kind of thinking.”

15 Comments

  1. Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    This ought to be extremely helpful for SCOTUS.

    Simply ignore the fascists, let them do their worst.

    They will be defeated.

    One way or the other.

  2. Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    ",,,It's along that kind of thinking." ??? Since when is a sinful sexual act the same as a person's skin color? Will the government of the United States of America now force Christians to support sinful sexual acts? Isn't that how this country got started in the first place; people fleeing a government takeover of their church?

  3. OvercameSSA
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm, I don't know about this one. Nobody's forcing a priest to do a ceremony, the church collects some cash but is merely renting out a hall (as opposed to a chapel). If they get into depraved sexual acts during their rental, then that's a different story, which would be problematic even in a heterosexual scenario.

    Nobody's checking sexual orientation when I walk into my church.

    I say the church should take the cash, purely as a business decision. Use the cash to promote authentic marriage and the "wedding" ceremony as an example of how screwed up things have gotten.

  4. Randy E King
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    It is a freedom of speech issue.

    If a church wants to disassociate itself from immorality it should be free to do so. Speech is not limited to what you say; it is also self evident in the things you do.

    Self evident truths are the inconvenient facts of life that the marriage corruption movement is hoping to rid itself of through legislative efforts.

  5. Daniel
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Amen, OvercameSSA!

  6. Ash
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    People traditionally think about the effects that special protections for sexual orientation and gender expression have on places of worship. But, as the article noted, these types of laws go far beyond weddings, and affect whether an employer must allow an employee to dress in accordance with their gender identity, restroom accomodations, etc.

    One of the pastors said that Hutchinson is a very conservative city; so we'll see if the city council adopts this measure.

  7. Ronin Akechi
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    "I say the church should take the cash, purely as a business decision."

    This isn't about what you or I think is a reasonable decision. I keep hearing people trying to tie their personal judgement into religious freedom, and say "I don't agree with ____'s decision, therefore it's fine if they lose the freedom to make that decision".

    All this amounts to is denying freedom of religion to those you disagree with. But if that becomes the standard, then the whole concept of freedom of religion becomes meaningless. You end up with a society where the only religious beliefs allowed are the ones that comply with the beliefs of the majority.

    The very point to recognizing inalienable rights is that they aren't just recognized for people you agree with-- they're recognized for people you disagree with. Or more specifically, the government doesn't have the power to decide which religious beliefs are "reasonable" and which ones aren't. They don't have the right to decide that you can only practice your religion when that practice meets the approval of the state-- or the dictates of political correctness.

  8. Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Consider, Overcame SSA, that churches are considered sacred spaces, even if part of that space is used for recreational purposes. For example, In LDS buildings, there is usually a basketball court/multi-purpose room, sometimes used for wedding receptions. It's part of the church building, and the entire building is dedicated as a sacred space. To rent it out for a same-sex ceremony (whether the happy couple is "gay" or "straight") would make a mockery of that sacred space because the entire space is dedicated to God, who stipulated that marriage is between a man and a woman (regardless of their sexual orientation).

    No, we cannot serve both God, and mammon.

  9. Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    As for the opinions of some about what such and so "ought" to do, let me assure them that the Catholic Church will never acquiesce in this.

    No problem if you don't agree.

    You are not required to agree.

    You might consider keeping us in your prayers as the persecution escalates to the level of seizure of our Churches and imprisonment of our bishops.

    But that too is optional.

    We have, for many centuries, understood what it means to follow Christ, and it is a blessing to live in a time when our witness shall soon be required once again.

  10. Zack
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    this doesn't make sense. Kansas has a marraige amendment, so whats all this about?

  11. Daniel
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Daughter of Eve writes:

    No, we cannot serve both God, and mammon.Exactly right ... this is why churches should be more careful about jumping into the business of public accommodation. I can tell you that this would never have been an issue in the parish I grew up in. The church didn't venture into the banquet hall business, so it didn't have to worry about the laws pertaining to that kind of business. Instead, my church tended to matters of faith with no fear of impediment by government regulation.

  12. AM
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    It seems that some anti-discrimination statutes are just as harmful as redefining marriage.

  13. OvercameSSA
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I should probably have qualified my previous post with the opinion that the Church should not be forced by ordinance to allow use of its facilities, but as a business decision, it might be worthwhile collecting some cash. What if a Jewish family wanted to host a Bar Mitzva celebration? I say go for it!

  14. Daniel
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    OvercameSSA writes:

    I should probably have qualified my previous post with the opinion that the Church should not be forced by ordinance to allow use of its facilities

    No Church is forced by ordinance to allow the use of its facilities. Many Churches choose to go beyond the church-y role fo pastoral care to the community, and to enter into the business of public accommodation. As such, is it not reasonable for the public to expect the same compliance as it does from any other entity that has entered into that business? Be careful, or we might end up justifying exclusions from public health and safety ordinances as well!

  15. Patrick Hogan
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Prophets and profits are governed differently under the laws. Should non-Christian businesses (including publicly-rented facilities) open to the public be allowed to refuse service to Christians because they follow a different moral code?

    If churches want to refuse to rent to some customers on the basis of their faith, they can decide to rent to only people who share their faith; if they choose to rent to the public at large in order to make a profit, they must abide by the rules governing other businesses.

    By the way: Brian Brown's tweet this morning was even more misleading than this post, suggesting (completely falsely) that churches might be required to conduct weddings for same sex couples. Not only do churches throughout the country have full rights to refuse to marry any couple for any reason, the Kansas constitution specifically eliminates the possibility of even allowing -- much less requiring -- any church to marry a same sex couple. The tweet was, at best, hyperbolic fearmongering.