Every since the SCOTUS agreed to hear arguments related to gay marriage, some very prominent religious leaders have stated that legally protected gay marriage could force churches to perform gay weddings. Those leaders are lying … and they know it.

Now that gay marriage is legally protected in all 50 states, ministers are freely allowed to refuse to perform weddings for, well, anyone they wish. This protection is absolute. Further, churches are in no danger of losing their tax-exempt status for refusing to perform gay weddings.

Ministers routinely (and legally) refuse to marry couples for a variety of doctrine-based reasons. Here are just a few:




Interracial relationships

Petitioners are not church members

Petitioners have not conducted pre-marital counseling

The minister feels the couple is not ready for marriage

Most of these reasons are considered fairly routine among the clergy. The race issue, which has been legally challenged, is less common but has proven to be legally protected. There is no reason to believe gay marriage will change this well-established legal precedent and cultural status quo.

Minister reveals how refusing to marry gays will impact ministry

Church refuses to marry black couple

Study reveals: Pastors argue about marrying divorcees

The church leaders and religious pundits who are currently insisting churches are now in danger know all this. In fact, they belong to churches that routinely refuse to perform marriages for many of the reasons listed above. Still, they persist in lying to people who trust them. These church leaders and religious pundits should be publicly confronted and forced to admit their intentional deception.


What about civil unions?

Some argue that the government should not be in the marriage business at all. That position has some teeth to it and logic behind it … except for one thing: marriage has always and will always include both legal and financial considerations. As such, some level of civil government must regulate these aspects of marriage.

But let’s be honest … for most who advocate civil unions, the argument seems like a compromise, but it’s more of a bait and switch.

When is the last time you heard someone say they were running down to the courthouse to get “civil unioned”? They go to get married, and everyone who goes with them or offers well wishes buys “wedding” gifts and offers blessings on their “marriage.” As long as the couple in question possesses differing anatomy, everyone calls that legal ceremony a “marriage” without a second thought.

Then gays wanted to get married and suddenly there is a chorus of voices calling for the government to get out of the marriage business. That position is not only shortsighted, it is, in most cases, disingenuous.

Nonreligious or eloping or divorced or interracial couples have been getting hitched at the courthouse for as long as any of us can remember. Where have the Defenders of Traditional Marriage been every time a couple opted for a Justice over a Priest? In most cases, they have been standing there as willing witnesses for the happy couple. Now, those same people want to pretend they don’t call that marriage.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park

Destin, Florida, on the northern end of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s Panhandle, is a haven for vacationers looking for exciting water sports and family fun. And, if you would rather slow it down and relax your days away, there is no better spot in...

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Homosassa Springs is a surprise. Although it is an official State Park, this land has been a tourist attraction for a century, and it feels more like a theme park than a place of relaxation. Though a day here is undoubtedly relaxing as well. In the early...

Writer & Editor: The Perfect Team

I work with some terrific editors who understand the subtle difference between directing a writer and correcting their work. Both are important; and both are vital to a successful story. But the secret to that success lies in understanding when and where...

Spell Check Two-Step

In their preschool years, of my boys’ favorite shows was a PBS educational cartoon called Super Why. The four main characters in the show, the “Super Readers,” are storybook characters with reading-based super-hero alter egos. One of the characters in the...

Research as a Creative Writing Prompt

Research allows you to learn things you did not previously know. Duh. It also introduces you to new worlds, strange ecosystems and unfamiliar social networks. This new information has the potential to blast through your writer’s block like dynamite… if...

Vero Beach

Vero Beach And Other Hidden Gems on the Treasure Coast   When vacationers, even many Florida natives, think about hitting the beach on the Atlantic coast, they head to Daytona, Cocoa, Lauderdale or Amelia Island. Florida’s Treasure Coast is treated as...

Captiva, FL – Pirates, Parrots & Mucky Ducks

Situated off the southwest coast of peninsular Florida just north of Sanibel Island, Captiva takes its name from a local legend. According to the tales, infamous swashbuckler, Jose Gaspar, imprisoned women he was holding for ransom somewhere on this little...

Banish Writer’s Block For Good

Many, if not most prospective writers are born storytellers. Sergeant Friday would hate us because we rarely, if ever, stick to “just the facts, ma’am.” We love to recite even the simplest activity in narrative form. Whether it be a relatively mundane...

Avoid This Communication Trap

With his trademark understated cultural satire, Bill Watterson strikes a chord for all of us who are sick to death of — or at least hopelessly confused by — empty jargon, meaningless, business-speak and other words that take up space but communicate...

Lady and the Scamp

Lynette Birch has a simple philosophy. It hangs around her neck, a thin charm wrought in gold, a single letter connected to a twisted strand of rope. Y knot. This message pours from the heart and radiates from the smile of a lady who has every reason to...

5 Cups of Coffee

Ferris Bueller said life goes by too fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you just might miss it. I wondered if maybe “once in a while” just isn’t enough. We put so much emphasis on weekends and annual vacations we drain the fun and...