Well, not yet. But it looks pretty likely. Washington, D.C., the city that should be the protector of liberty is now bent on reducing liberty. Specifically, the city is bent on reducing religious liberty. And they are doing it in the same fashion as Massachusetts did a few years ago.
Tim Craig and Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post report today (Nov. 12, 2009, front page) that
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage la, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness, and ehalth care.
Under the bill, headed for a D. C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay mean and lesbians.
Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.
If you are unfamiliar with the happenings in Massachusetts a few years ago, the Catholic Church was forced to withdraw from participation in the foster care and adoption system of the state because of moral objections to having to place children into homosexual households. The state could have accommodated the church and modified their procedures, but they chose to do otherwise, thus removing the church from equal rights to participate in civic matters on account of religious beliefs.
The Post article goes further:
If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”
Several D.C. Council members said the Catholic Church is trying to erode the city’s long-standing laws protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination.
And of course there is the expected accusation from the homosexual community:
Peter Rosenstein of the Campaign for Alll D.C. Families accused the church of trying to “blackmail the city.”
“The issue here is that they are using public funds, and to allow people to discriminate with public money is unacceptable,” Rosenstein said.
“If they find living under our laws so oppressive that they can no longer cake city resources, the city will have to find an alternative partner to step in to fill the shoes,” Catina said. He also said Catholic Charities was involved in only six of the 102 city-sponsored adoptions last year.
Terry Lynch, head of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, said he did not know of any other group in the city that was making such a threat.
“Are they really going to harm people because they have a philosophical disagreement with us on one issue?” Cheh asked. “I hope, in the silver light of day, when this passes, because it will pass, they will not really act on this threat.”
Now, is anyone outraged? Well, the homosexual advocates are. But are we? Can we promote liberty while they, under their special-rights processes, seek to secularize society and turn the church into a servant of the secular state. This is statism at its worst. Discrimination against religious beliefs and related liberty, under law. But what has changed, really? The homosexual thugs will not stop at restricting religious liberty to enforce their agenda. They will go further if they are allowed to win more of these battles. They want control of your belief system and find the church to be their greatest opponent.
Your tax dollars at work.