New Hampshire is working on legalizing gay marriage, and has a bill pending…unfortunately, it is being compromised.
The new version, which is expected to come up for a vote Wednesday, adds a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage. It also clarifies that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same sex spouses of employees.
Lovely. The first part is fair — I don’t think churches should be compelled to endorse gay marriage — but the last part is odious. It’s basically a loophole that says religious groups can be as bigoted as they want to be. In another decade or so, when gay civil rights are accepted as matter-of-fact and we look back on these years with the same disbelief and disgust that we look back on the days of racial segregation in the 50s now, remember that religion actively lobbied for the right to cling to discrimination and the denial of civil rights to a segment of society.