Another shot fired in the war for enforced conformity:
DANBURY, U.K.–A wealthy gay couple has decided to launch a lawsuit to force their church to perform their wedding. The Drewitt-Barlows, a millionaire couple from the U.K, stated, “We’ve launched a challenge to the government’s decision to allow some religious groups to opt out of marrying same-sex couples.”
Both attend St. John the Baptist church, a branch of the Church of England, and have been in a civil partnership since 2006.
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said that he and his partner Tony, “feel we have the right as parishioners in our village to utilize the church we attend to get married.
“It is no reflection on our local church, who have been nothing but supportive towards us. We understand their hands are tied by a higher group of people within the church.”
I sympathize with this couple and their desire to be married in their church. That seems like a reasonable enough desire. But the intersection between the homosexual lifestyle and religious doctrines which have long held that homosexuality is immoral is a tough one, fraught with much emotion.
That being said, it seems odd that anyone would think there is or should be recourse through the courts to force a religious institution to hold a religious ceremony it finds immoral. Rather than working to change their church’s doctrines, or finding another church that does recognize homosexual marriages, this couple hopes to impose their wishes on their church through the government.
Which runs contrary to notions about the free practice of religion, and it may be a harbinger of what is to come here in the United States where the Supreme Court has let stand a state-assessed fine against a wedding photographer who refused to work a gay wedding. Here in America the 1st amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and I think most of us would like to think that would preclude the state overturning long-standing religious doctrine, but I didn’t think we’d ever have a law forcing us to engage in commerce such as purchasing health insurance either.
These are strange days we are living in.
It’s one thing to disapprove with the choices others make, but we should also recognize that if we aspire to live in a free society they should generally be allowed to make those choices (with obvious exceptions having to do with crimes, etc.) despite our disapproval.