A sober warning is given in a wonderful article written by a woman who was raised in the family of a same sex marriage. However I am not seeing that warning repeated in social media. With the Supreme Court poised to change the definition of marriage, I hope that it not too late to hear her prophetic call.
Her warning is that same sex marriage will erode fundamental rights and her proof is what has transpired in Canada. She gives abundant examples, but we don’t have to go to Canada to see the validity of her argument. It is already happening here in the United States.
Consider the family run bakery that was fined by the State and put out of business for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. The lesbian couple gave dozens of negative symptoms that they experienced due to the rejection, that ranged from sleeplessness to weight gain (even though they didn’t get the cake). We need to move past the hysteria surrounding the event in order to consider what really happened and then some very troubling things come to light that are harbingers of things to come.
It is important to note that the family did not prevent the couple from getting married nor did they prevent them from having a cake. That would have violated the couple’s rights. The family simply refused to participate in the wedding based on their religious beliefs. Again they didn’t stop anything, in fact they didn’t do anything, they simply declined to participate. By bringing suit, the gay couple was in effect telling the family that they do not have a right to their religious convictions. And the State, essentially playing thought police, agreed. What then is the point of freedom of religion if we are not free to live according to our religion?
This takes the discussion beyond legalizing gay marriage to the next step of silencing any and all opposition. We not only have to accept it, now we are required to participate in it. We are no longer free to disagree because disagreement is labeled as hate speech and punished accordingly. But the power of Dawn’s article comes from the fact that she loves her gay parents and so no motive of fear or hatred can be assigned to her. Her concerns for the loss of individual freedoms come from being a witness to that fact.
Not only is freedom of religion under attack but also freedom of speech. A teacher in New Jersey was suspended for expressing her opinion, not in the classroom, but on Facebook. It is noteworthy that the picture at the top of the article is of protestors holding signs “No Hate In Our State.” Disagreement equals hate. More recently a fire chief in Atlanta was fired because he authored a devotional book that taught biblical principles of morality. Last October the mayor of Houston demanded that preachers submit their sermons concerning sexuality or gender for review. There was such a backlash that she backed down but it would be naïve to believe that was the last time such a demand will be made.
Examples are plentiful of people being silenced and these examples should shock people into action. Even those who support gay marriage should be the first to defend the freedom of speech of those who do not, because these rights are for us all and not just for those with whom we agree.