Leading up to and after a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, we can expect to see more last-ditch actions such as those aimed at forbidding county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, which could be passed in Texas and in the deep South, until federal courts put these efforts asunder.
We’d be in a stronger position to oppose these efforts to enshrine discrimination by the state if certain quarters weren’t using the power of the state, where they are in control, to force private vendors to provide services to same-sex weddings (the comments to the Dallas Morning News story contain many claims that it’s LGBT people who are the ones being intolerant, provoking responses claiming that our intolerance is justified intolerance while your intolerance is just intolerance…or whatever).
On a related front, CNN.com looks at the schism between Christian conservatives and big business over defense of religious freedom laws. Then again, the populist right and its counterpart, the progressive left, have never really looked kindly on big business anyway.
More. The debate over whether independent vendors with religious views opposed to participating in same-sex weddings should be forced by the state to do so gets confused, often deliberately by the right, with a related but different issue: whether civil servants should be able to opt out of performing same-sex marriages. As I posted last month:
…here I think the answer has to be no. There is a key difference between private, self-employed citizens who don’t want to provide creative services to same-sex weddings, and servants of the state.
While some of my friends on the left seem to think everyone is essentially (or should be) treated as a servant of the state, that’s actually not the American way, and shouldn’t be.
But, on the other hand, if government officials can’t perform their duty to treat all citizens equally, citing their own religious convictions, then they should step aside. Separation of church and state is also the American way.