Texas, it would seem, is afraid that the SCOTUS is going to give the go ahead to gay marriage. The Texas Senate committee on State Affairs is considering Senate Bill 2065 which would allow, among other things, churches the right to refuse to marry gays without fear of civil or criminal repercussions if doing so violated their “sincerely held” beliefs. Among those testifying in favor of the bill, church member John Torres stated that it would make the U.S. government guilty of hate crime if gay marriage is legalized.
Mr. Torres, in a speech as eloquent as the esteemed Ambassador for God’s complaint in Nebraska, told the committee that “I have never stand [SIC] up for something, but I think it’s time that all the people start standing up for the beliefs they have and my belief, and a bunch of us have that belief, that it’s one woman and one man. The Bible was clear when it said that. We need y’all to stand up for us. I think we need y’all to stand up for the little guys. You are our big brothers. Stand up for what’s right, and that is our belief in religion.” He went on to say that, “I don’t discriminate against nobody.”
Hmmm. Much like Madame Ambassador in Nebraska, it would appear that Mr. Torres could benefit from spending more time with a good book on grammar than the “Good Book,” especially since he seems to be missing certain key points of that Holy Text. Perhaps a course on logic would also be helpful, as his assertion that “I don’t discriminate against nobody” isn’t quite in line with his actual point of view.
Oddly, despite Mr. Torres’ speech and asinine assertion that gay marriage is a hate crime against Christians, I find myself somewhat in agreement with one part of Senate Bill 2065 and that is the part allowing clergy to refuse marry gays. We all know that there are churches out there that conveniently toss the whole “love everybody” teaching out the window in favor of a more mouth-breatherish view of “love everybody who is the same as me.” Fine. That’s their right.
There are also churches out there that get it right and would not refuse to marry Brad Pitt and me. So, we’ll pick one of those instead and let the others go on their merry hate-filled way. This is a much different argument than pizza, cakes and diesel engines, lest you think I’ve suddenly become an RFRA supporter. I assure you, nothing short of a stroke and total amnesia will make that happen.
In the case of pizza, cake and diesel engines, the providers’ beliefs have nothing to do with their jobs, it’s all about commerce. Churches, however, “trade” in abstracts like morality and if they feel that marrying gay people violates that concept then they shouldn’t have to do it. The same theory applies to Catholic organizations refusing to provide insurance coverage that covers birth control.
It’s also different than denying gay people the right to marry period. No gay person of logic would go to a Catholic church or one of these mouth-breathing tabernacles of hate to be married. They would seek out a love- and life-affirming church that would accept them. Let the mouth-breathers have their hate, but let Brad and me have other choices.