01 Mar Gay Marriage: What’s Happening?
The last few years I have been concerned about the changes society will see from legalized gay marriage. After researching court cases, judicial rulings, and laws made as a result of legalizing gay marriage, I concluded that gay marriage has a chilling effect on free speech and is destructive to freedom of religion.
Gay marriage became legal in Canada in 2005. This week, the Supreme Court in Canada released a unanimous decision that strikes a monumental blow against freedom of speech and religion confirming my fears about legalizing gay marriage.
This week’s ruling in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott reads:
“A prohibition is not overbroad for capturing expression targeting sexual behaviour. Courts have recognized a strong connection between sexual orientation and sexual conduct and where the conduct targeted by speech is a crucial aspect of the identity of a vulnerable group, attacks on this conduct stand as proxy for attacks on the group itself. If expression targeting certain sexual behaviour is framed in such a way as to expose persons of an identifiable sexual orientation to what is objectively viewed as detestation and vilification, it cannot be said that such speech only targets the behaviour. It quite clearly targets the vulnerable group.”
In other words, the religious view that homosexuality is a sin will legally be considered hate speech in Canada, especially if the Canadian Human Rights Commission believes that the speech consists of extreme manifestations of emotions described by the words “detestation” and “vilification”. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are not enshrined in the Canadian constitution like they are in the United States.
This week, clause one of the same sex marriage bill passed committee by 13 to 4. It is being considered by the Public Bills Committee in the House of Commons.
There are 18 clauses in total. Clause one “makes it lawful for same sex couples to marry”.
About two weeks ago, France’s lower house of parliament approved a bill that would legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. President François Hollande’s Socialists pushed the measure through the national assembly, carrying a vote by 329 to 229. The bill now goes to the senate, which is also controlled by the Socialists and their allies. Thousands of French citizens have marched in protest of gay marriage.
In four more weeks, The Supreme Court of the United States will hear two gay marriage cases: DOMA and California’s Proposition 8.
This week, The Obama Administration filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court asking the court to strike down DOMA and Proposition 8.
In the DOMA brief, the administration placed access to taxpayer-subsidized benefits and tax breaks – as well as its belief that homosexuals deserve a special place as an underprivileged minority group – at the heart of its legal argument. The brief says, “Gay and lesbian people are a minority group with limited political power.”
In the Proposition 8 Brief, the Obama administration declares that homosexual’s deserve the “full benefits” and “social recognition conferred by the institution of marriage”. The brief states that “protecting children from being taught about same-sex marriage” in public schools is “not a permissible interest insofar as it rests on a moral judgment about gay and lesbian people,” and that, “The weight of the scientific literature strongly supports the view that same-sex parents are just as capable as opposite-sex parents.”
Both amicus briefs urge the Supreme Court to review the cases under “heightened scrutiny”.
While citing many studies about homosexual families, these briefs ignore the most recent research on homosexual parenting done by Mark Regnerus. His study, published in the journal Social Science Research last July, found that children raised in a family with married heterosexual parents were far less likely to suffer traumatic life events than those raised by homosexuals.
Certainly, with the President of the United States of America backing their cause, gay and lesbian people, while a minority of the population, enjoy unprecedented political power around the world.
The Alliance Defending Freedom lawyers have asked the people to pray for marriage before the cases are heard at the Supreme Court of the United States. Defending marriage as an institution between one man and one woman is not just defending marriage. It is defending freedom.