As a professor of the University of Minnesota Law School, I follow the legal recognition of same-sex marriage very closely. I challenge the editors [of the St. Paul Pioneer Press] to name the "religious groups" and adoption agencies that have been legally sanctioned "as a result of . . . a new definition of marriage." Of the 100,000 or so same-sex marriages that have been performed in the United States, a mere handful have resulted in legal conflicts between same-sex couples and service providers. These isolated examples – including adoptions by Catholic Charities, a wedding photographer, the use of a beachfront pavilion, a few others – have been repeatedly used by opponents of gay marriage as if they augur the end of religious freedom. But here's the problem, which multiple media fact-checkers in this campaign have pointed out: none of these cases were the result of same-sex marriage. They arise from longstanding anti-discrimination laws that protect people from invidious discrimination, regardless of whether they're married. In Massachusetts, the law forbidding discrimination in adoptions dates back to 1989 – well before gay marriage began in that state. The lost "tax exemption" involved a New Jersey church that agreed to rent its beachfront pavilion to the general public without discrimination in return for getting a special tax benefit. There is no gay marriage in New Jersey. Maybe the editors believe anti-discrimination laws protecting gays and lesbians should be more limited or altogether repealed. But the marriage amendment will not change these laws, regardless of the outcome. The editors should either retract their claim about the legal consequences of same-sex marriage or justify it with some actual cases.
– Dale Carpenter
(in response to this St. Paul Pioneer Press editorial)
Regarding Our Editorial on Minnesota's Proposed Marriage Amendment – Mike Burbach, Editor, Pioneer Press (November 5, 2012).
Foundations and Farewells – Chris Kluwe (Pioneer Press, November 5, 2012).
Related Off-site Link:
Chris Kluwe Quits St. Paul Pioneer Press Over Marriage Equality Amendment Editorial – Jason Linkins (Huffington Post, November 3, 2012).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Dale Carpenter on the "Win-Win" Reality of Gay Marriage
Doug Mataconis on the Bishops, Religious Freedom, and Living in a Civil Society
Quote of the Day – September 6, 2012
Lies, ALL LIES!
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry 'Victim'
Persecuted 'Enemies of the State'? Or Just Sore Losers?
What Part of Jesus' Invitation to "Be Not Afraid" Don't the Bishops Get?
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
Lisa Cressman's Concise, Reasonable Answers to Marriage Equality Questions