Should the Government Force Churches to Have Gay Weddings?

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  1. Cassie Smith profile image60
    Cassie Smithposted 11 years ago

    A NJ judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises.  The United Methodist Church, the owner of the retreat house, holds the view that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. The lesbian couple wanted to have their wedding ceremony at the Christian retreat house and sued when they were denied.  Should this ruling force Christians to host ceremonies that are against their teachings?  I think the lesbians were trying to force this issue.  This will probably go to appeals.

    1. HistoryProdigy profile image64
      HistoryProdigyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Absolutely not. Our government has truly overstepped its bounds if it ever even considers this.  The First Amendment states, "congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Forcing a religion to go against its own beliefs is a smack in the face of the Constitution.

    2. Kyle Payne profile image60
      Kyle Payneposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Typically, Christian theology is against homosexuality, although in some cases it can be accepted. The real question that should be asked is this, should the government be allowed to interfere or even force churches to have  homosexually bases weddings? Well, under the United States Constitution, this problem would be one that would be left to the people. So by the Constitution the governments on a state and federal level should not interfere in any way. Also our government was built upon separation between church and state, so by no means should the government force anything relating to this. When things like this are forced, it is inevitable that individual liberty will be undermined and ignored in a loathsome way.

    3. profile image52
      paarsurreyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is no restriction on building churches; they could have their own.

    4. Greg Sereda profile image69
      Greg Seredaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The Christian retreat house made the right choice.

      1. profile image52
        paarsurreyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you friend.

  2. Eric Newland profile image60
    Eric Newlandposted 11 years ago

    Separation of what and what again?

  3. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 11 years ago

    Incredible.  I can't imagine on what grounds he made his ruling - that judge belongs in the unemployment line.

  4. Cassie Smith profile image60
    Cassie Smithposted 11 years ago

    According to the judge, "as to ‘free exercise’ [of religion], the LAD (Law Against Discrimination) is a neutral law of general application designed to uncover and eradicate discrimination; it is not focused on or hostile to religion." and believes that some intrusion into religious freedom is necessary to balance other important societal goals.  So apparently to this judge, gay marriages are important societal goals but religious freedom is not.

    1. Eric Newland profile image60
      Eric Newlandposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Let me get this straight. This judge is literally saying, as in there isn't even room for an alternate interpretation, that New Jersey state law overrides the Constitution?

      1. Cassie Smith profile image60
        Cassie Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That seems to be what he's saying.

    2. profile image52
      paarsurreyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Then the court should do the wedding.

  5. LawrenceS profile image66
    LawrenceSposted 11 years ago

    Wow, this is crazy. This is not right nor did that judge have any type of legal right to pass that type of ruling.

  6. Elani-Lee profile image76
    Elani-Leeposted 11 years ago

    First I have to say that I fully support gay marriage. However, with that being said, the state should absolutely never tell any religious institution what ceremonies they should and should not be able to perform, in the same way that a religious organization shouldn't be telling the state what its "GOD" believes marriage should be. Religious freedom goes both ways.

    1. steveamy profile image60
      steveamyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My exact position on the matter

  7. Jimmy Boyd profile image67
    Jimmy Boydposted 11 years ago

    Can you provide a source for this? As everyone is saying here, it is clearly a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The law may be a law of general applicability, but that Supreme Court decision said that a state could forbid use of a drug called "peyote." This is the opposite, essentially saying a church MUST do something instead of abstaining from it. It's a clear misapplication of the rules on laws of general applicability.

    This also likely violates the freedom of association in the First Amendment, not just the freedom of religion. Besides that, a church is not necessary to get married, so the judge's reasoning goes way too far.

    1. Cassie Smith profile image60
      Cassie Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this
    2. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, it is not a violation of the constitution.  That document forbids the federal government from establishing a church but says nothing about states rights to do so.

      Perhaps the NJ judge has decided that he will legislate religion in NJ.

      1. HistoryProdigy profile image64
        HistoryProdigyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The Bill of Rights covers the states and Federal government. Which is why the Constitution it is often referred to as the "Supreme Law of the Land".

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

          "Congress" refers to the federal government and the legislative body of the senate and house of representatives, not to state governments.  This amendment was added to protect the right of the individual states at the time from the federal government, not from themselves.  Some of the states were highly religious, some not so much, and neither wanted adjoining states interfering in their internal religions.

          1. Jimmy Boyd profile image67
            Jimmy Boydposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            You might want to study a little more. The 14th Amendment applies the 1st Amendment to the states. This is very basic and beyond dispute. See, for example, the case of Santa Fe County Texas moment of silence at football games. How did the local school lose that case if the 1st Amendment only applies to federal Congress? Why was Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore removed from the bench for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from Alabama state-government property? Read up a little more if you are going to comment on things.

  8. MelissaBarrett profile image59
    MelissaBarrettposted 11 years ago
    1. Jean Bakula profile image92
      Jean Bakulaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I live in NJ. This is odd, the judge should be kicked off the bench. I will say this though, Ocean Grove has always been a town of bible thumpers. When the "blue laws" changed, when I was a little girl, they refused to let business owners work on "The Lord's Day." They are fanatics, and most NJ people avoid the town. It's in the middle of the JerseyShore, which although is not anything like the foul group in the show, is a resort area. The people who are down there want to enjoy themselves, whether that means a loud party, or someone who wants to sit quietly on the beach. Ocean Grove makes their own rules too.

  9. livelonger profile image88
    livelongerposted 11 years ago

    This is more than a bit misleading.

    A church rents out (i.e. in exchange for money) its space for *other groups* to perform ceremonies of all kinds. It is not actually performing those marriages or ceremonies itself.

    It would be a different matter entirely if the state was forcing this church's ministers to perform a gay marriage. But it wasn't.

    It is not unlike the anti-equality crowd to mislead in order to pump up hysteria about the legalization of gay marriage.

    1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
      MelissaBarrettposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      What he said.  That's why I posted the link.  I would have argued it myself but I was feeling a bit waspish.

      1. Jean Bakula profile image92
        Jean Bakulaposted 11 years agoin reply to this


        1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
          MelissaBarrettposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          They weren't asking the church to perform the service, they were asking to rent a pavilion owned by the church. They weren't going to use the church's clergy, just a space that they rent out to other groups.

          1. Jean Bakula profile image92
            Jean Bakulaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            NJ is moving towards supporting gay marriage anyway. It already supports the community property and tax laws of couples, regardless of sex.

    2. MrMaranatha profile image74
      MrMaranathaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      To rent out your facilities to pretty much anyone would be fine...  Quite possibly even to the "couple" that came and asked... if it were a Birthday party or something that the Church considered normal..  But the fact that it is for a Marriage that is outside what the Church has for its Doctrinal stand.
      This would be about the effect of someone wanting to rent your Rental Garage.. Oh lets say a Funeral Home wanted to rent the garage... (you think OK maybe to store some coffins or equipment)  and then they declare that they were going to use it instead for the storage of dead human bodies until they could find another suitable place to put them... as the grave yards were too full at the moment.

      It is a matter of Defilement.

      The Building is part of that  Establishment of Religion.. and how that building is used can only be determined on a case by case basis: by the Congregation... as a part of How they Exercise their liberty.

      I would dare say that there is not another organization in the country that would want the Government telling them that they MUST ALLOW something to be done on their own private property... Regardless of what it is. 

      They have thier own churches... thier own ministers.. thier own halls and dance clubs... shopping malls etc...   Why should a Church be singled out for the Government to force this issue upon them..???  If its that important for the State Government to get involved in... Let them Provide a Fire Station for the purpose... they can roll the trucks outside and "Rent the Hall"... Its a Government problem... let the Government solve it with their own resources not the private property of a Religious Institution.

      1. profile image52
        paarsurreyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        A rational solution indeed.

  10. profile image56
    SanXuaryposted 11 years ago

    This is a battle of definitions. A wedding is the joining of a man and a woman bearing witness before God and other believers who our the witnesses. To be wed in a Church requires the blessing of the Church despite the fact that such requirements have become almost non-existent. In reality the wedding in a Church is only symbolic since the document all originates at your local Court House. If it did not originate there you would probably find it difficult to get divorced in compliance with the vows you had taken on your wedding day. Everything outside of the Church is a Civil Union, so the real question is why would someone outside of the doctrine of the Church demand to be married in one? If the Republican party did not allow you to be one because you do not believe in there agendas should you be called one any way? I believe everyone has a right to their own sanctuary's. Legally marriage and Civil Unions have not meant anything in this country to anyone except to those who want your money. If you took a homeless person into your home for any period of time they would have as much right to live in your home as any Civil Union. Make it the opposite sex or someone with children and find out what rights they have in your state after an extended period of time in your home.


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