Maryland Cuts a Deal

Just got this from the Baltimore Sun …

O’Malley introduces same-sex marriage bill

Gov. Martin O’Malley introduced legislation Monday night to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, presenting a bill to the General Assembly that aides said would offer broad protections for groups that would not want to perform or honor same-sex marriages.

The bill also makes clear that religious leaders, not the state, control theological doctrine, Guillory said. And it further limits any punitive actions — like denying government funds — that the state could take against religious organizations for failing to perform same-sex marriages.

In other words – from what I can best gather from the article – the governor is trying to buy a secular recognition of gay marriage with all of the associated rights and privileges by allowing the church to keep doing whatever they think their god wants them to.

I’ll take it, even though giving tax dollars to a church that engages in the discrimination of homosexuals on issues of charity , adoption, etc. sounds like a violation of the first amendment.  I’ll let the courts decide that one.  As long as secular authority is unaffected.

To rally grassroots support, Maryland’s Roman Catholic bishops in November sent a 16-page statement to churches throughout the state calling on parishioners to act against a same-sex marriage bill and other measures that they say threaten religious liberty.

Measures that threaten religious liberty.

Religious “liberty”.

They have some serious chutpzah using that word.  No one is ordering the church to perform gay marriages, so I’m left to wonder what they mean.  Are they referring to the practice of institutionalized discrimination and prejudice against a group of people based on “divine” orders given by a collection of manuscripts delivered direct from the Bronze Age? Oh, here we go:

If the Maryland proposal had passed this year, “Religious business owners like florists, bakers, musicians, or photographers would not have been able to decline to participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony,” the statement says.

That sure as hell is not a liberty.  Being told to step into the 21st century, pry your head out of your ass, and stop using the idea of a god as an excuse to peddle your own short-sighted ignorance and bigotry doesn’t make you a victim, nor does it threaten anyone or anything except an obsolete, archaic way of life that has no place in our society anymore.

Maybe Maryland’s Roman Catholic bishops should take a peek at how their flock feels about this situation to say nothing of the rest of the population, and realize that their way of life is being left behind as society marches forward.

Keep ’em coming.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Religion and Public Life, Religion in the News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Maryland Cuts a Deal

  1. Dan Adler says:

    I don’t have a problem with trying to buy off the Church to leave us the hell alone. Most homosexuals don’t want religious marriages in the first place (why would we, since most of us have been kicked out of our churches any the first place).

    What I do have a problem with is giving tax dollars to religious institutions (regardless of the god/gods they acknowledge). Why? Because religious institutions don’t PAY taxes. So why should they GET tax money. If they need money so badly, let their congregations tithe like in the middle ages.

    • I have a pretty big problem with giving tax money to religious institutions as well. It’s my hope that after the bill passes, this aspect of the law will be re-examined by a higher court based on its violation of the establishment clause. It’s a less-than ideal compromise … but I still think it’s a move in the right direction even if we have to take a half step back at the same time.

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