There’s been a lot of reaction to the Cali gay marriage decision, too much to track and comment on here. But I am moved to comment after last week’s Inquirer column by former Senator Rick Santorum.
Guru Rick claims:
Look at Norway. It began allowing same-sex marriage in the 1990s. In just the last decade, its heterosexual-marriage rates have nose-dived and its out-of-wedlock birthrate skyrocketed to 80 percent for firstborn children.
Huh? How does legalizing same sex marriage lead to a drop in hetero marriage? Did all the straight guys go gay? Maybe all the straight guys became suddenly attracted to their dogs.
Then there’s this nugget:
Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too? Marriage is and always has been more than the acknowledgment of the love between two people.
Apples and oranges. I shouldn’t even have to say this, but love for your kids or your brother or your mother-in-law is not the same as romantic love….unless Ricky’s mother-in-law gives him a thrill up his leg.
But here’s the real meat and the real problem with Santorum’s op-ed:
There is a constitutional right that is under threat: the free exercise of religion.
Let me go out on another limb here and make another crazy prediction. Within 10 years, clergy will be sued or indicted for preaching on certain Bible passages dealing with homosexuality and churches, and church-related organizations will lose government contracts and even their tax-exempt status.
The idea that pastors will be sued or indicted for exercising their free speech and free expression rights is a straw man scare tactic. It is simply not true. Yes, faith groups’ access to government funding may be, and should be, limited. But as long as the Constitution exists, preachers can say any crazy thing they please. And the ACLU will be right there to defend their right to do so.
Andy in Harrisburg