Religious Liberty & the Attempt to Redefine Marriage

2011 June 25

Among other things, the continual drive to redefine marriage is about gaining approval for a lifestyle that has been considered immoral and perverse throughout most of history—and making it illegal for those who believe that it is immoral and perverse, not only to voice their beliefs, but also to be able to live according to their beliefs.

Next on the list is the conflict over religious liberty. When the New York legislature voted last night to redefine marriage1 according to homosexual advocates, there was an inclusion of religious protection that was a sop. It is naive to think anything else. Why do I say that?

That’s where this has been headed for years. In May of 2006 Maggie Gallagher wrote the column:

Banned in Boston
The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty.

I highly recommend reading it.

…last December [2005], the Becket Fund brought together ten religious liberty scholars of right and left to look at the question of the impact of gay marriage on the freedom of religion. Picarello summarizes: “All the scholars we got together see a problem; they all see a conflict coming. They differ on how it should be resolved and who should win, but they all see a conflict coming.”

…Reading through these and the other scholars’ papers, I noticed an odd feature. Generally speaking the scholars most opposed to gay marriage were somewhat less likely than others to foresee large conflicts ahead–perhaps because they tended to find it “inconceivable,” as Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine law school put it, that “a successful analogy will be drawn in the public mind between irrational, and morally repugnant, racial discrimination and the rational, and at least morally debatable, differentiation of traditional and same-sex marriage.”

…By contrast, the scholars who favor gay marriage found it relatively easy to foresee looming legal pressures on faith-based organizations opposed to gay marriage, perhaps because many of these scholars live in social and intellectual circles where the shift Kmiec regards as inconceivable has already happened. They have less trouble imagining that people and groups who oppose gay marriage will soon be treated by society and the law the way we treat racists because that’s pretty close to the world in which they live now.

Gallagher quoted Chai Feldblum saying (yes, that Chai Feldblum3 who was first an Obama recess appointment to the EEOC and has now been confirmed by the Senate. She is also pro-abortion, and even before her tenure the EEOC was limiting religious freedom of a Catholic college.4):

And yet when push comes to shove, when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, she admits, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

Would you like more evidence?

From the Washington Times last Sunday, June 19th, USDA gay-sensitivity training seeks larger audience5:

U.S. Department of Agriculture activists want to impose their intense brand of homosexual sensitivity training government wide, including a discussion that compares “heterosexism” – believing marriage can be between only one man and one woman – to racism.

Prior to the last few decades, marriage has been defined and recognized across time and across cultures as a relationship between a man and a woman. What we are looking at today is not an inclusion into this institution of those who have been “denied” marriage because of their homosexual activity, but a redefinition of a relationship that is the cornerstone of society, and which societies and countries have protected through legal means because of the understanding and recognition of the mutual and complementary love, enjoyment and support uniquely provided by each sex to the other, and because of the understanding and recognition of the importance of the future of a society through the protection and rearing of children in a family setting in which they learn love, trust, discipline and identity through the unique and different abilities and perspectives of the two sexes.

Tattered as many families and marriages are across this country, our goal as individuals and as a nation should be to support them and assist the strengthening and perpetuity of this institution rather than destroy it. Conservative Christians and Jews work as individuals and as groups to help marriages and children. The attempt by those antagonistic to marriage to redefine the institution must, by the very logic of their purpose, also include in their crosshairs, not only the destruction of the definition of the legally recognized marriage relationship, but the destruction of those who defend the marriage relationship.
Wedding Rings, Jeff Belmonte: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
1Hot Air, “Open thread: New York senate to legalize gay marriage tonight? Update: The 32nd vote? Update: Bill passes, 33-29”.
2Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, Vol. 11, No. 33, May 15, 2006.
3American Principles Project, “Chai Feldblum”.
4LifeNews, “Pro-Abortion Obama EEOC Nominee Chai Feldblum Approved,” December 29, 2010.
5“USDA gay-sensitivity training seeks larger audience,” The Washington Times, June 19, 2011.
A Jewish Wedding, Jozef Israëls: Public Domain.

Laura Curtin in her GreenRoom post, Chai Feldblum On Sexual Liberty vs. Religious Liberty, from October, 2009, linked to Chai Feldblum’s paper written for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She does quote from the paper, but her link is dead; however, I was able to find the paper via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:
Chai R. Feldblum, Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion, (55 page pdf).

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

52 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 June 25 3:19 pm

    I realize that I am outside the loop as a blogger here, but I had made such long comments elsewhere on the NY vote, that I thought I might as well expand them into a post. This vital issue is a marker of the moral and spiritual sickness of our nation.

    I’m going to crosspost this at my own blog—that’s why I did this with footnotes and added the ©. That’s the style I’ve been using there.

  2. 2011 June 25 3:35 pm


    So can I move to NY and marry 43 women now too ??????????????

  3. 2011 June 25 3:37 pm

    I was hoping somebody would thread this story. Thank you INC.

    Look folks, homo marriage will be a blue state thing from now on. Look for the west coast states to do the same. After that it will die off b/c no other states will have the votes to pass this turd.

  4. 2011 June 25 3:40 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    Lines are being drawn. Which side do you stand on?

    As Abraham Lincoln said, “A House divided can not stand”. Look at our society. One sided is pitted against the other. How long can this stand. How soon before it collapses unto it self. This can not continue on.

    INC – keep up the good fight!

  5. 2011 June 25 3:45 pm

    Hey, Eph & gnqanq, thanks.

  6. 2011 June 25 3:47 pm

    More great stuff:

    Let’s hope that Cuomo is the DIM nominee in 2016

  7. 2011 June 25 3:49 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    INC or anyone, can NY put up a referendum or a State Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

  8. 2011 June 25 3:51 pm

    I have no idea, gnqanq. I would assume that every state has a procedure for the voters to initiate referendums, but we’re talking blue NY.

  9. 2011 June 25 3:51 pm


    I seriously doubt NY has a ballot initiative system in the first place. It’s hard enough to get rid of homo marriage in Iowa via ballot, so I can just imagine how difficult it must be in a state as lib as NY.

  10. 2011 June 25 3:59 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    Most people (even in New York) are opposed to gay marriage. Remember california passed one because of all of the blacks & hispanics opposed to it.

    Just don’t know about the ballot procedure in New York. Here is Ohio we passed one a few years back.

  11. 2011 June 25 4:06 pm
    janzam permalink


    CA has passed TWO such initiatives defining marriage as between a man and woman, and each and every time it has been thrown out by the 9th Circuit Court. The 2nd and last time it was ruled on by one jurist, who just happened to be a not-so-much-in-the-closet-gay man himself, who wanted to get married. And, surprise, surprise, he ruled that the proposition was unconstitutional. grrrrrrrr.

  12. 2011 June 25 4:16 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    jan – the difference is an “Initiative” vs “state constitutional amendment”. An Initiative can be ruled on, where amending the state constitution is a high hurdle to over rule.

  13. 2011 June 25 4:20 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    jan – here is a link from wikipedia describing the state amendment.

  14. 2011 June 25 4:20 pm
    janzam permalink

    I’m not sure CA could get such an amendment through, right now. The state has slowly been immunized by the initiative process going south on the people’s will. I think there is less and less rebuke of gay marriage, and more acceptance that “it is bound to happen.”

    This is how the left manages to get their agenda through, too — by wearing away at the process, through introducing initiative after initiative, until there is enough erosion of their foes that their policies finally pass.

  15. 2011 June 25 4:23 pm
    janzam permalink

    All I can say, gnqanq, is that your state is lucky to have that in place. I still don’t understand why there is such a push for marriage in the gay community. All the rights and legal latitudes/standings are accomplished in civil unions. Why isn’t that enough? Why do they have to push the religious envelop too!

  16. 2011 June 25 4:30 pm

    Eph, found a painting for you! I meant to look for media prior to posting this, but forgot it.

    Janzam, my husband says the problem with referendums occurs when the legislature & activists courts decide to work against the citizens.

    I very seriously think a major factor is the (1) flexing of power to prove they’re calling the shots (2) to gain approval and (3) to harm or destroy those who have moral and religious objections.

  17. 2011 June 25 4:33 pm
    JustMary permalink

    Hi there, INC! Nice to see ya!

    I’m amazed that the will of the people, no matter the subject, is totally ignored by pretty much everyone who has the position they hold because of the very people they ignore.

  18. 2011 June 25 4:35 pm

    Hey, JM!

  19. 2011 June 25 4:41 pm
    janzam permalink

    Well, INC, that certainly is what happened here in CA dealing with gay marriage. It is disheartening too.

    I also think your points, regarding the ‘why’ gay activists push this policy so much, has merit. Ironically, outside of the activists themselves, many gays are totally satisfied with having civil unions, and not interested in marriage.

  20. 2011 June 25 4:55 pm

    I think civil unions were a step in the wrong direction—but for gay activists, they were the first step, but not the goal.

  21. 2011 June 25 4:57 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    Read this from the Declaration of Independence. Look at how this applies today. We have a government that does not listen to the people, abuses us and then take our rights away from us. Defines what is “is”, dictates what rights we have and don’t have and tries to micro manage our life’s within what they define as proper. How long must we suffer?

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

  22. 2011 June 25 5:49 pm

    “Eph, found a painting for you!”

    Moi ????????????????


  23. 2011 June 25 5:51 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Eph –


    So can I move to NY and marry 43 women now too ??????????????

    Yes Eph. And you can also commit suicide as an Islamic terrorist bomber and have 72 virgins in AllahLand (but since you won’t have a body any more, I presume the virgins will remain virgins).

  24. 2011 June 25 5:51 pm
    bc3b permalink

    The Catholic Bishops in New York state are expecting sanctions against the church when it promotes traditional marriage.

  25. 2011 June 25 5:51 pm
    brucefdb permalink

    Hey INC, glad to hear from you. I was just warning some fellow conservative Catholics at a dinner last night celebrating my (and my wife’s) recent baptism that the whole point of the gay marriage movement is all about tearing down religion with the threat of lawsuits, etc., once they succeed in their abominable goals.

    One lady said something of interest, why don’t we just let them have their way but then create a ‘special service’ that re-institutes the sanctity of the man/woman wedding.

    That needs some thought but it would certainly tick the little buggers off. Pardon my French, but that is exactly what they are.

    Hmmm, one ceremony would be called the Ofay ceremony and the other the Okay ceremony.

  26. 2011 June 25 6:02 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Hi INC –

    Great to see you here.

  27. 2011 June 25 6:03 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Was at a graduation this afternoon. Haven’t seen some of my relatives in 18 months to 2 years. Some of the oldest ones aren’t holding up too well.

  28. 2011 June 25 6:06 pm

    Eph, I found the painting & the photo in the post at Wiki–I looked at their entry on marriage and click on the image itself to find info about it. Then I went to the Wikimedia on marriage (that link is way down at the bottom of the marriage entry) and found the painting under marriage in art. That’s one thing Wiki is good for–I’ve found numerous public domain media there. (I will say Wikimedia can drive me nuts because of the lack of consistency in categorization and the lack of cross referencing, but I scout around!).

    Hi, Bruce & bc! I’m not surprised the bishops and conservative Catholics have figured what’s up. It’s obvious (edit: didn’t mean that the way it sounds! What I meant is the handwriting is on the wall for anyone who takes the time to interpret and read it!).

    It already happened in MA with adoption services–that’s why Maggie Gallagher named her column, Banned in Boston.

  29. 2011 June 25 6:16 pm

    Do you know how much work it would be trying to please 43 women daily?? fk that…

  30. 2011 June 25 6:28 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    Kh – just tell them you have a headache. That should make them all happy.

  31. 2011 June 25 6:38 pm


    What about 43 Jennas ????

  32. 2011 June 25 6:41 pm
    JustMary permalink


    43 x the disease. Sounds fun /ewwww

  33. 2011 June 25 6:58 pm
    brucefdb permalink

    From American Thinker….I think we all know this is true and many on this site have been saying it.

    If Sarah Palin doesn’t run for president, the operatives in the media and Beltway establishment will have learned a fool-proof method of destroying any political opponent. If they are allowed to successfully paint a politician as stupid without any facts, merely because they disagree with the “aristocracy,” America will be left with a choice of RINOs or progressive socialists. If that happens then the transformation of America from a libertarian culture to one of socialism and government dependence may very well be irreparable.

    Assuming that Sarah Palin doesn’t run the campaign will go sort of like this: the media will talk up the largest RINO they can find in an attempt to split the Republican Party from within. However, the real dirt will be kept securely under wraps. As the Republican primary nears its close, the research effort will go into full force. They will send squads of lawyers to go into every tiny detail of the candidate’s personal and professional life. They will examine every detail of the life of the nominee from the day of their birth. The researchers will talk to every ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, every business partner, and any employees they can find.

    After the primary is over, they will start to dump the juiciest tidbits in carefully edited and scripted special stories. National interviews will be granted to jilted lovers and business acquaintances that felt wronged by the candidate, or perhaps could be persuaded to feel wronged with a little interview stipend. The candidate will be mocked for their lack of intelligence and any microscopic mispronunciation or slip of the tongue will result in a weeklong national news cycle about why that candidate is too stupid to be president. The candidate will not have time to counter the perception and, combined with the media adoration of Obama, likely Obama would get another four years.

    By contrast, if Sarah Palin runs, the media has already shot all of their ammo. They have done everything they can possibly do to destroy her but she has learned how to counter them via Facebook, Twitter, and streaming video. The accusations against Palin and her children have been flying in for two years and have failed to destroy her. All they have left is to repeat the old tired line of “Palin is an idiot.” Of course it wouldn’t take more than a debate or two, nationally televised with live video, to dispel that myth with everyone that can possibly be persuaded. The problem with the media is that all they have left to shoot are lies which can’t stand in the light of day, and even all the plausible lies have been spent by Palin’s opponents. If Palin wins the primary, the leftist media will be left to incoherent rage watched by fewer and fewer Americans

    We need Sarah in the race.

  34. 2011 June 25 7:01 pm
    JustMary permalink

  35. 2011 June 25 7:09 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #33 This is why I never entered the arena, and why some of my friends opted out as well. I wasn’t bred to be a politician, so my life wasn’t carefully scripted. I made mistakes, big ones! Mistakes that would be exploited ad nauseam were I ever to throw my name into so much as the smallest of rings. Mistakes that equal relevant life experience though. Life experience that would translate well in certain forums. When you carefully craft your every moment- when every speech is teleprompter ready- when you are so in love with the status quo that they will happily lock your unsavory life events away in a vault (with plenty of payola ready to silence the media)- you are fake as hell, with no dirt OR gems to uncover. The rare cubic zirconia that is found, is a diamond to the untrained eye. People are free to imagine who they wish you to be.

    Sarah has been shaken. The dirt is off. Love her or hate her- there is nothing new under the sun.

  36. 2011 June 25 7:48 pm
    brucefdb permalink

    Yeah, JM, but also you are in California….not an easy place for a good person to run.

  37. 2011 June 25 7:57 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #36 Good people can’t run anywhere it seems. If they succeed, it is because they weren’t much of a threat.

  38. 2011 June 25 9:02 pm
    JustMary permalink

  39. 2011 June 25 9:29 pm

    A little while ago I started copying the pdf doc by Chai Feldblum into a text Word doc (what a laborious process–there must be an easier way!). I’m not reading it, but skimming as I copy and paste.

    Even with a superficial glance, it appears she’s playing semantic games by using terms such as “religious liberty”, “belief liberty”, “identity liberty” and “bodily liberty”, so as to be able to downgrade the meaning of the text of the 1st Amendment on prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

    She also differentiates between religious beliefs and personal conduct. What an incredibly false dichotomy–as if one’s beliefs had nothing to do with conduct–and, of course, the Left is the first to cry hypocrite if they think Christians are not living by their beliefs.

    She makes that difference in order to drag out the old canard that if you act in accordance with your beliefs (i.e., she uses the example of not renting bad and breakfast rooms to homosexuals), then you are imposing your beliefs on others and imposing on their “identity liberty”.

  40. 2011 June 25 9:48 pm

    Of course, since Chai is pro-abortion she absolutely shreds her credibility in this regard because her “belief liberty” trumps the “identity liberty” and the “bodily liberty” of the unborn child every time—even though then the imposition of her beliefs literally means death to the unborn child.

    –Ok, I have now finally gotten to a place where she admits a connection between belief and conduct. That’s it for now.

  41. 2011 June 26 12:44 am

    Asteroid To Buzz Earth Monday, June 27th

    Not a threat but how cool is it that we can find these things that are no bigger then bus?

  42. 2011 June 26 6:58 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Kh – just tell them you have a headache. That should make them all happy.

    My retort to that is — Most women pride themselves that they can multitask. So what’s the problem? Multitask the headache.

  43. 2011 June 26 7:16 am
    drdog09 permalink

  44. 2011 June 26 7:17 am
    drdog09 permalink

    INC, let me be the last to say thank you for an excellent article.

  45. 2011 June 26 7:54 am
    janzam permalink

    When a movement gets a foothold the incentive only gets stronger to go all the way.

    Advocates: N.Y. vote will advance gay marriage

  46. 2011 June 26 8:19 am
    drdog09 permalink

    When you are a cartoon, the jig is up —

  47. 2011 June 26 9:28 am
    janzam permalink

    drdog, Humor sure has a way of conveying the truth.

  48. 2011 June 26 2:00 pm

    31… Nah I’m doubt full I could handle more then one or two jenna’s.

  49. 2011 June 26 6:55 pm

    Thanks, Dr. D. Last, but not least!

  50. 2011 June 26 9:08 pm

    This is from NRO on Friday night, but I just saw it:

    One of the facts about tonight’s debate over same-sex marriage that will be neglected in the adulatory coverage is the really extraordinary process that brought this innovation to the Empire State. New York law, for instance, requires bills to be published 72 hours before a vote. The public, however, did not see the full language of the bill voted on tonight for more than a few hours (and only if they were exceedingly diligent in looking for it). Normal rules of debate were waived, the session was extended, etc. These kinds of exceptions are allowed for, but only in instances of emergency.

    When Sen. Ruben Diaz tried to ask the Republican senator who had announced the new exemption language questions about that language, he refused even to yield for a question.

    I haven’t see this mentioned anywhere else. This reminds me of ObamaCare–passed without regard to law. Now why is that, you think, that the legislature felt it necessary to cram this through? /S

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.