Friday, January 20, 2012

Recent Actions Regarding Marriage In WA State

Remember Monday is the hearing on SB 6239 in Olympia. Please plan to attend if possible--10 AM to noon.

Here are some of the responses from lawmakers to constituents who write to them expressing their opposition to redefining marriage. Thank you to our readers who forwarded these and other responses. I chose two responses that reflect, generally, the thinking of those wanting to redefine marriage:


From: Hansen, Rep. Drew
Subject: RE: Opposed to redefinition of marriage>
Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 2:49 PM




Dear Mr. xxxx

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. There are many gay couples in committed, long-term relationships in this state already; I would like to see them recognized as "marriage"-entitled to all the rights and responsibilities that this status entails-rather than as something less such as "domestic partnerships." It means a great deal to me that I am "married" to my wife. I would not want to be my wife's "domestic partner"; the permanence and uniqueness of marriage mean something to us, and I expect gay couples would feel the same way.

Now naturally, nothing that I'm saying here, and nothing in the marriage bill, will have any effect on the rights of churches to perform marriages as they please. That's part of the First Amendment's protection of the free exercise of religion, after all, and I would find it abhorrent if the state were ever to get into the business of proscribing what my church can and can't teach, on marriage or on any other issue. I'm just sharing my thoughts to give you a little more background on why I feel the way that I do.

Thank you again for writing, and I hope you're having a great New Year.
Drew

____________

And then there is this response. A couple of these were forwarded to us. Rep. Jamie Pedersen is a homosexual activist and sponsor of the House Bill to redefine marriage.

From: "Pedersen, Rep. Jamie"
Date: January 16, 2012
Subject: RE: Constituent: Same same Marriage undermines the family

Dear xxxx

Thanks for your message. I strongly disagree with you on this issue and am the House prime sponsor of the bill that will provide marriage equality for same-sex couples. I can assure you that the legislation will provide strong protection for religious liberty. No priest or clergy person will be required to solemnize any marriage, and no religious organization may be compelled to permit its facilities to be used in connection with any marriage. But civil marriage is a legal construct of the Revised Code of Washington, and it is very much up to the legislature to define who can marry. I believe that our state has a strong interest in not discriminating against -- and harming -- the families of same-sex couples based on the religious views of a small and dwindling minority.

All families in Washington are hurt by our current policy of treating some families as different and inferior. All families in Washington will be strengthened by making civil marriage available to couples regardless of their sexual orientation.

Jamie

Personal Observation By Gary: Note the line "religious views of a small and dwindling minority" That is, of course, how he views the faith community.

Representative Jamie Pedersen
43rd Legislative District
Olympia Office
MOD B-102
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
360.786.7826
pedersen.jamie@leg.wa.gov


Republican Rep. Glenn Anderson (Fall City) has announced that he will support homosexual "marriage". He came to this decision by researching The Code of Hammurabi, Council of Trent and Emperor Justinian. I'm not kidding.

Anderson is also running for Lieutenant Governor this election. Anderson is an example of the "break away from the conservatives so you can get elected to a state wide office" advice Sam Reed has been dispensing in recent years. We'll see how it works out for Rep. Anderson.

And finally, on this Friday, some good news. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) issued a press release committing $250,000 to help defeat Republicans in Washington State who break with the GOP Party commitment and vote for homosexual "marriage."

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active.

13 comments:

  1. Jamie Pedersen's description of "small and dwindling" refers to those who oppose equal marriage for same-sex couples, not the faith community. A growing number of people of faith support equal marriage and they are part of the coalition to pass this law.

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  2. "Personal Observation By Gary: Note the line "religious views of a small and dwindling minority" That is, of course, how he views the faith community."

    Note Gary's arrogance in assuming that the, entirety of the "faith community" consists of people, who share his anti-gay vies. Note also, that Gary's proclamation implicitly excludes supports of equality, like Unitarians and many mainline Protestant faiths, not to mention the large number of Catholics like our Governor and Joel Connely from the "faith community".

    Could it be any more clear that Gary practices a politics of divisiveness and exclusion?

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  3. The evangelical community has been silent too long on social issues and has created a false sense of acceptance and affirmation by Pedersen and others. This issue will correct that. Gary is right. Gay activists are believing their own press releases. They may ram this through a misinformed Legislature, but a public vote will not confirm it. We are not a dwindling minority. Thanks Gary and Faith and Freedom.

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  4. Anon 10:26 Gary isn't arrogant, he's stating a fact that you don't want to hear. The vast majority in the faith community do not support gay marriage. We are not a dwindling minority. The mainline Protestant churches you refer to are the dwindling minority. People are leaving those churches in mass and its well documented, in most cases it is because of this very issue and the ordination of gay pastors. How many Unitarians are there in the state?

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  5. Pedersen says "all families in Washington will be strengthened by making civil marriage available". How does that work? How will that strengthen my family.He also promises that this will not intrude on my religious freedom. I don't believe that. It will and he knows it.

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    Replies
    1. Marriage is the glue that keeps families together. Couples who are married are more likely to work things out when times get tough, they are happier, and mentally and physically healthier, and they can protect each other financially.

      When gay people cannot marry, they are hurt, putting stresses on their families that can tear them apart. They are more likely to be unable to afford to take care of each other, and more likely to lose property (such as their homes) in the event of the death of one of the partners (due to large tax bills), and they endure the mental stress of being “outside” of the rest of society, to name just a few.

      When families split, including gay families, society is hurt, and the effects can ripple through the community. These divorces put stresses on extended families and the children involved, affecting all of us everywhere -- at our schools, at our places of employment, at our churches. Kids involved do less well in school and get in trouble, affecting other students. Courts are called upon to handle settlements, costing us taxpayer dollars. Our co-workers suffer when our productivity falls. Stress causes medical issues that strain our health care system.

      You may not feel you personally have a stake in this question, but you do. Whether you like it or not, gay families are all around us. We are already living as married couples and forming families in your community. If you do not believe you have a stake in the success in these families, either you do not understand the positive influence that marriage can have in society.

      Delete
    2. He knows it. Really? You know it too? OK, just exactly how will it intrude on your religious freedom? I've read the bill and the protections are pretty rock solid. Have you actually read the bill?

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    3. Same-sex marriage does not violate religious freedom. You will not be forced to marry a person you do not want to marry, nor will your church be forced to marry anyone they don't want to.

      Most of the "religious freedom" violations anti-gay groups cite are actually not related to marriage, but to anti-discrimination laws. No one is allowed to discriminate in regards to public accommodation (ie, renting a space or providing public services) or when collecting public tax dollars. You have likely read about B&B owners who do not want to rent to gay couples, or to churches who rent spaces to the public but want to avoid gay union ceremonies, or adoption agencies that have chosen to close because they don’t want to offer services to gay couples. The anti-discrimination laws that compel these businesses to not discriminate against gay couples are the same ones that prevent gay businesses from discriminating against religious individuals. None of us is exempt from anti-discrimination laws in the PUBLIC realm. We agree to provide services equally in the PUBLIC realm to avoid this patchwork of available services.

      However, within a church, we can discriminate as much as we want. Pastors can refuse to marry gay couples. Churches that offer space to their congregation can refuse the space for, say, a gay church member to hold a gay-themed meeting. Churches can refuse gay congregants if they want.

      But, again, NONE of this has to do with marriage laws. We already have anti-discrimination laws in this state that protect religion and sexual orientation. Changing the marriage law will change NONE of this.

      Delete
  6. Marriage laws changed will discriminate against religious organizations . For example the Salvation Army or any other religious organization that hire employees to provide services for the poor . A homosexual person working for a charity does not now have the RIGHT to force their employer to pay for their domestic partner . This for the hetrosexual partner also that is in a relationship such as living together . Since living together or homosexual marriage in a relationship is not supported by the religious beliefs , and most fair minded people would agree that forcing a church to pay benefits for what is considered sin and hurtful is wrong. Its a violation of conscience , its wrong . Now homosexuals who are married can force religious organizations they work for to pay for their sexual relationships . This is one example . This is indeed a violation of the basic consept of religious freedom . Indeed this is discrimination , and its secular discrimination . Those support it usually have no respect for the church or even understand the world view . The premise that dicriminating aginst children in homosexual realtionships by denying them both genders is never spoken to , because discrimination is considered to be wrong , and admiting that homosexual marriage is discriminatory is an aspect that the left is in denial about . Or in many casesunderstand and with the new athesist aspect of the left have a hatred for any Faith , see it as actually evil , see religion as socially unacceptable and will attemt to mock or ridicule those who hold to basic Bibical truths . Same gender sex is considered morally wrong .

    So YES this does have to do with marriage laws . Most of the religious freedoms anti Christian groups cite as being unsupported are always taken from the context that denying religious freedom and liberty is totally acceptable when religion leaves the four walls of the church . As if religious liberty is something that is in a building . The anti christian and anti faith argument is based in ignorance or bigotry for the most part . Usually both . But that is the world , and we should not be surprised , they are just doing their job description .

    Praise God , because this is something I see as a wake up call . Promoting the Faith is not politically something that was ever taught in the Bible or by the Lord . Promoting the Love of God was always promoted by Loving those in need , and walking along side of them . Not telling them how to live .

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  7. Under Section 3 of the bill certain forms of marriage continue to be prohibited, namely

    Polygamous marriages;
    Incestuous marriages; and
    Child marriages.

    You and I both approve of these prohibitions as I am sure do Governor Gregoire and Senator Rolfes. However, others do not and could claim that they have been denied equality of marriage. For example:

    ACLU of Utah actively supports polygamous marriages.
    Allen Muth went to jail in 2005 for “marrying” and having four children with his younger sister and argued that Wisconsin's incest statute was unconstitutional.
    Clearly, Warren Jeffs does not think child marriages should be prohibited.

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  8. Did you readSB 6239?

    The preamble reads: “AN ACT Relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom;…”

    I was struck by how little “protecting religious freedom” is actually done in the bill. As far as I can see there are two limited protections. Namely, a pastor’s ability to say “no” if asked to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony is protected and a church’s ability to say “no” if asked to host a same-sex marriage ceremony is protected, so long as the church does not make the facility available to the public for a fee. However, there is no protection for anyone (pastor or lay person) to share what our faith has to say on homosexuality or make a decision based on that teaching e.g., a Christian homeless shelter’s ability to decline to let a homosexual couple share a room, a Christian adoption agency’s ability to decline to consider a homosexual couple and Christian business owner’s ability to refuse service (e.g., marriage photography or lodging) based on the would be customer’s sexuality.

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  9. Interesting the anti religious debate tactics . There is no conflict with religious liberty ? The following comments come from the legal perspective of the ACLU . So obviously there are conflicts that the left does see, just when they come about , they believe the anti christian side should prevail . Quite revealing ..


    "There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases,
    the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner.”
    – Chai Feldblum, former ACLU attorney, now Commissioner of the U.S.
    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC"

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  10. It's like you people don't live in Washington. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from our states civil rights statutes, always have been. Why do you think no problems have come up before?

    As to some sort of immunity for religious speech no you are responsible for what you say. This is an 'at will' employment state and you can be fired for wearing the wrong clothes to work let alone any kind of inflammatory speech. Religious or not.

    As far a a business owner wanting to discriminate against a customer because they don't share the business owner's beliefs who in the world would want that?! That's just simply unamerican and puzzling - Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5 that Christians were free to deal with pagans - that their acts and judgment of same was up to God, not them. Taking pictures of pagans doing anything isn't against the Christian faith, neither is baking or printing. Such silliness would mean I could not hire evangelicals because the serve Satan or any other reason I wanted to dream up.

    Merchants have no right to demand customers share their faith or to deny them service because of their faith - that's Basic American 101.

    And it's all like that now and unchanged regardless of the passage of marriage equality.

    ReplyDelete

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