Nathan Diament, the director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America has called the tension between gay rights and religious liberty the mega-cultural issue of the decade. That may well be an understatement, so its nice to see that the problem is recognized in a newspaper like the Washington Post , which reports today that ” Faith Groups Increasingly Lose Gay Rights Fights “.
In addition to several high profile cases including the controversy over the dating service eharmony.com , the Boy Scouts and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a New Jersey Methodist group which lost a property tax exemption after it declined to allow its beachside pavilion to be used for a same-sex union ceremony, the Post mentions these other less publicized incidents:
- A Christian photographer was forced by the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission to pay $6,637 in attorney’s costs after she refused to photograph a gay couple’s commitment ceremony.
- A psychologist in Georgia was fired after she declined for religious reasons to counsel a lesbian about her relationship.
- Christian fertility doctors in California who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian patient were barred by the state Supreme Court from invoking their religious beliefs in refusing treatment.
- A Christian student group was not recognized at a University of California law school because it denies membership to anyone practicing sex outside of traditional marriage.
The article concludes with the considered opinion of Jonathan Turley, a legal scholar who supports same sex marriage:
Some scholars also point to Bob Jones University, which lost its tax exemption over a ban on interracial dating and marriage among students, even though it claimed that those beliefs were religiously grounded. Some legal analysts suggest that religious groups that do not support gay rights might lose their tax exemptions because of their politically unpopular views.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University who supports same-sex marriage, said the Bob Jones ruling “puts us on a slippery slope that inevitably takes us to the point where we punish religious groups because of their religious views.”
So, when they come for your tax exempt status at, say, Azuza Pacific University, Belmont University, Bethel University, Biola University, Malone College, Pepperdine University, Westmont College, Calvin College or Wheaton College , or other evangelical or Catholic colleges and universities, dont say you werent warned .