What it would do is simply codify the court’s ruling that laws preventing same-sex marriage are in breach of the state’s Constitution. So far, so good.
But the religious types, predictably, don’t want that.
However, just take a look at their “argument”, as set out in a piece on the state’s Theday.com website:
In full-page newspaper ads, phone-call campaigns to legislators and letters read to parishioners in churches across the state, opponents of the bill – already approved by the Judiciary Committee and awaiting action on the Senate calendar – have charged that it would infringe on the religious freedom of those who oppose letting gay and lesbian couples wed.
Let’s just get this right: it would curb the freedom of nutters to curb the freedom of same-sex couple who wish to marry? Have I understood this?
The bigots say the law doesn’t have exemptions to allow other bigots – if they happen to be, say, florists, banqueting facilities, that sort of thing – to refuse services to same-sex couples.
Yet these people are presumably allowed to practise their trade on the basis of fairness to all, within the law. If same-sex marriage is within the law – which it’s thought it will be – why should they be allowed to discriminate? They would soon be hauled before some court or other if a white trader refused to serve a black person, or vice versa.
There’s also the fear expressed by a bishop, Michael Cote, that the legislation “repeals the provision in current law that protects our children from government indoctrination in sexual lifestyles . . . that are contrary to our beliefs”.
What sort of “indoctrination” does he have in mind? Does the state government plan full-page ads in boys’ comics saying, “Hey, guys, get yourself a boyfriend – it’s cool!”? Or ads on TV asking eight-year-old girls if they fancy a bit of muff diving?
The bill already exempts clergy from officiating at gay marriages, if their twisted beliefs tell them they mustn’t perform such an evil act. What more do the bigots want?
Well I’ll tell you what they want. They want no same-sex marriage at all. They want no one to have homosexual desires. If anyone should have such desires, they want them to be prevented from expressing them, be that a kiss in the privacy of their own homes or a declaration of their orientation through a publicly recognised marriage.
Democrat Senator Andrew McDonald, from Stamford, is the co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a co-sponsor of the legislation, and he reckons that the church has a disproportionate focus on gay-rights issues, noting that there had not been similar efforts to mobilise the Deluded Herd behind less controversial measures.
Well, quite. The religious right and others of a fascistic persuasion among the religious (I’m thinking of Catholics and Muslims, but there are others) are obsessed by what people do with their naughty bits – totally obsessed.
Protesting too much? Yes, that question always comes to mind, doesn’t it?