by Travis Weber, J.D., LL.M.
May 12, 2016
Before same-sex marriage was constitutionally enshrined, we heard about how it would not affect anyone’s religious freedom. It was just about access to the marriage license, we were told.
Anyone who thinks opponents of Christian morality are not interested in forcing everyone to conform to their views need only glance at a motion filed in federal court in Mississippi reacting to a law which provides, of all things, exemptions on conscience grounds.
In their motion, this group of opponents asks the court to make sure that anyone “recusing himself or herself under Section 3(8) of HB 1523” be forced to “desist from issuing any marriage licenses to any other couples, including opposite-sex couples.”
Why make this request if access is the only issue? No access to any licenses has been impeded. But we know it is not about that. These opponents are requesting clerks not issue any licenses because they just can’t stand the idea that someone would not agree with their same-sex marriage.
The opponents proceed to read into motives and offer blanket generalizations:
“Thus, although the most recent efforts by the State of Mississippi to disregard the constitutional rights of LGBT Mississippians through HB 1523 may be somewhat more subtle than the “steel-hard, inflexible, undeviating official policy” of the past, see United States v. City of Jackson, Miss., 318 F.2d 1, 5 (5th Cir. 1963) (ordering end of racial segregation in bus and railway terminals), the underlying impulse is exactly the same.” (emphasis mine)
But calling all genuine Christians everywhere complete racists isn’t enough.
They also mischaracterize the law as “exhorting state residents to discriminate against their gay, lesbian and transgender neighbors in a wide variety of circumstances.” Where is this behavior “exhorted?”
They also want the state to be forced to “post all recusal notices to a prominent place” on a government website. Shaming, anyone?
The real motive is obvious. It’s to force those who now disagree to eventually agree. Nothing more (for now), and nothing less.