GAY MARRIAGE, GAY CIVIL RIGHTS, AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
This longish but well-written article examines the recent decision by Boston Catholic Charities to get out of the adoption business since it believes its religion bars it from adopting children out to gay married couples in Massachusetts, and they’ve gotten in trouble for this from Commonwealth adoption-agency-licensing authorities.
The piece goes on to foresee all kinds of subtle pressures on religions to go along with things they’d rather not, in re: homosexuality.
The politicians in the Mass. legislature at this time refuse to pass a religious exemption, ie, to allow religious adoption agencies to decline to adopt out to gay couples on the basis of claimed religious doctrine. Not even the Republicans! But as an observer of the politics of religion in this country, I think when the issue becomes big enough, such exemptions will be legislated, or maybe even recognized by courts. And I think they should. Only the shallow will attempt to equate many religions’ anti-homosexuality with some Protestant churches’ racism.
I personally favor legal non-discrimination in re: gay people in non-religious situations. But in America religions have to be free to retain their doctrines on this question, as long as they don’t directly incite violence.
But for a little perspective, tax-exemption isn’t exactly a Constitutional right…. And on that question, I think the IRS lacks the authority to say that a tax-exemption legislated to encourage charitable contributions, actually meant to advance unrelated “public policy” issues, if that wasn’t the legislative intent. ISTM that’s a case of the Executive Branch overreaching. Of course, if the Republicans keep stealing Presidential and Congressional elections in this country, we may never be faced with the apocryphal maverick IRS Commissioner envisioned by the article….