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Here’s one good sign (or at least one it-might-have-been-worse sign), in the midst of the recent same-sex marriage bills, noted by the New York Daily News :

Echoing the names of gay marriage bills in other states, the Vermont law is entitled “An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Recognize Equality in Civil Marriage.” Such titles in other states are Orwellian—those acts only purport to protect churches from having to marry same-sex couples, which is unconstitutional anyway. So far, same-sex marriage has had no regard for actual religious freedom.

Until Vermont.

The Green Mountain State’s new law says in its “Public Accommodations” section that religious groups “shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if the request . . . is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage.” It also bars civil lawsuits against religious groups that refuse to provide goods or services to same-sex weddings.

Now, the Vermont Clause certainly could go farther. I would like to see protections for individuals—not just organizations. Still, it’s a vast improvement over the other states that have implemented gay marriage without concern for its repercussions on the traditionally religious.

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