"Reserve the Right to refuse service" sign in response to Gay Marriages in Catholic Buildings

Why can’t Catholic Churches nail up a “reserve the right to refuse service” sign? Seriously? That works in most businesses right? Is that a legally binding sign?

Where are my Catholic lawyers at? We need some legal speak for this question?

CAn you tell me a business that is allowed to have a sign like that for other protected classes? The Civil rights act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Not performing gay marriages before was allowed because it was not seen as marriage by the law. Now it is recognized by the state as a legal practice and as such it will be forced upon everyone.

Well that sucks. I’ve only seen those signs in shady restaurants and have been too afraid to force the owners to enforce the writing on the sign. From my own expierence as a married Catholic, there is no legally binding document that the church offers or provides by its own authority. The marriage certificate from the state that was signed by the priest is a legally valid document and is controlled by the state. So if the Gay couple is refused by the priest why would they not seek a different religion or legal means of becoming married in the states eyes. Since the Catholic Church does not marry in the States presence but the presence of God.

How I understand it. Catholic marriages are overseen by priests but carried out by God by way of the vows and promises the couples takes in his presence.

The state though marries by its own authority. This is the authority that grants rights, privileges etc that the Gays want and can legally obtain.

I just don’t see how the Church can be forced to supply a legal service it never claimed to form (ours is a covenent through God and honored by the state) by a group that can freely receive the service and stutus by other means.

The Church always has been, and always will be, allowed to decide who it will our will not marry.

Think about it logically. Same sex marriage changes nothing. An atheist couple has been always allowed to get married by a justice of the peace. The Catholic church has always had the right to refuse marriage to them.

People are acting like, up until this point, the Church married any heterosexual couple that walked in the door. That is not true. The church has always been allowed to refuse to marry couples that a justice of the peace would be required to marry. Adding more couples to that list changes absolutely nothing.

That’s true for the CHURCH. Not so much for photographers, florists, Knights of Columbus halls, cake bakers, etc… If you are one of these and refuse to honor the “wedding” in question on conscience grounds, expect lawsuits. :frowning:

Look what happened to this poor lady when she refused to photograph a gay wedding.


Better start just saying, “oh man I am booked that day”

The Catholic Church doesn’t need to. the Priest can deny the sacraments to anyone and evict anyone out of the building on trespassing grounds.

Not true. Suppose there is a Catholic business owner who offered marital benefits. Now those must be offered to same sex couples.

True, no one is calling (at least serious) for the Church to offer marriage ceremonies to homosexuals, but it does not follow logically that the situation is unchanged. The Church IS affected if the faithful are affected.

Of course. However, this is also true of Catholic business owners who would refuse to provide service to a divorced couple, or a couple having premarital sex.

Like I said, same sex marriage changes nothing. Business owners have always been forced to deal with situations they don’t approve of, and Churches never have and never will.

If you will refuse to serve people because of a sin they commit, you should refuse all people for all sins they commit. That essentially means you should just close your business.

How about marital benefits to a couple who’ve been married to someone else and divorced?

speaking as a Catholic lawyer, a “refuse service to gays” sign would be a public relations disaster of unbelievable proportions, as well as being totally unnecessary, in spite of the current panic mongering.

Not refuse Gays sign. Refuse any service to anyone. Being specific would not limit a pastor or priest to identify a couple that due to their circumstances or how their pre marriage counsleing went, are not at this time fit to marry. Saying a priest or establishment has the right to refuse service is only discrimatory is you say who you are not providing service to. By leaving it blank or simply saying, we’re sorry that date you’ve picked has already been reserved would keep the church out of hot water. Heck just doing that last part about sorry were busy could help the Church, the Knights of Columbus and any flourists and caterers.

Sorry that date it taken…were over booked right now though you could try one of these photographers, here Ill give you thier number.


Seems no more dishonest than an phone operator saying you call is important to us.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.