I’m not so worried anymore. I did a search on where various denominations stand on marrying same sex couples and it doesn’t seem like there is that much to worry about. I know this is a sort of punishment that various extreme groups would like to inflict on non-compliant churches (including the Catholic Church), but we are far from alone on this issue.
I thought I would look across the pond first. The Church of England doesn’t marry same sex couples. I was actually surprised by that. I thought that since Europe is so much more liberal and secular than the US that they would have accommodated same sex marriages. I guess I was surprised, but I read the arguments and they sound quite reasonable.
In addition to the vast majority of Baptists in the US (you can include the church in Charleston, which demonstrated the beauty of forgiveness and love of neighbor despite the hate driven murder of nine of their members), one branch of Presbyterians, most Lutherans, all Anglicans, all Mormons, all Muslims, two of the major branches of Judaism, and the Methodists. Now, that last group, the United Methodist Church, is interesting because Mrs. Clinton is an active member. In fact, she just addressed the women’s conference last year. I doubt that she would go after her own beloved denomination. I cannot imagine the extremists suing all these churches and the synagogues, the mosques (and some Buddhist and Hindu temples) for not marrying them.
All along, I thought the major point behind pushing for gay marriage was because of the tax benefits couples enjoy and also for important things, such as counting as 'family’when one spouse is hospitalized. The government has granted them that. Regardless of their faith, or lack thereof, they have all the same rights as other married couples. There are many churches they can get married in but it’s the state that grants them the rights to all the benefits that I thought they were seeking. Honestly, I understand their point of view on that. Especially making medical decisions for each other. What if they are estranged from their family and their spouse is the only one who knows their wishes? I do not agree that it’s a sacramental marriage, but I didn’t think they were seeking that. Getting married in the Catholic Church doesn’t give you tax benefits. It’s that little slip of paper from the courthouse that you get before the church wedding. Wasn’t that the goal in the first place, or am I entirely mistaken?
These extreme groups calling for punishing the churches that won’t marry them seem vengeful and petty. Should I sue because I could not get married in a mosque or a synagogue, or even a Mormon temple, if I felt like it? Should divorced couples that would like to re-marry without an annulment sue the Catholic Church? If a pastor or priest turns a couple down, for any reason, should he get sued?
What are your thoughts? Do you think they will have any success in punishing all religions that do not do same sex weddings? What if they just go after one group, but not all? Certainly, that would be seen as unfair by the courts. If you sue us Catholics, you also have to go after Muslims, for example. If you attack Mormons, you have to go after the Baptists. You are also touching a race issue here in the South because many historically black churches would have to close without the tax free status. These are small, neighborhood churches, that provide a sense of community. Do they really want to attack them?