Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Are gay rights and religious freedom in conflict with each other?

Asked by Demosthenes (12599points) 3 months ago
52 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Taking into consideration the recent Supreme Court decision allowing a Catholic adoption agency to continue to refuse same-sex couples as well as the “cake wars” controversy that made headlines a couple years ago (and ended in a way that didn’t satisfy anyone).

Are the two compatible? It is a zero-sum game? Does one side have to lose?

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Answers

seawulf575's avatar

I wouldn’t say they are in conflict with each other until one tries forcing their views on the other. In the case the SCOTUS just ruled on, the Catholic adoption agency was operating on their own rules which were based on their religious beliefs…that don’t recognize homosexuality as a good thing. They aren’t forcing their views on gays…until they gays tried to use their agency. And then, they didn’t try to stop gays from adopting children, just not with their agency. When refused, the gays sued for discrimination, effectively trying to force their beliefs on the Catholics…putting their sexual preferences ahead of religious beliefs.

As I understand it, the ruling was in favor of the Catholic church adoption agency.

It is a bit of a zero-sum game. On one hand, you can say that if you refuse to provide services to someone because of their sexual orientation you could be discriminating against them. But on the other hand, many Christian beliefs say that homosexuality is a sin. So trying to force them to do something to support it…to normalize it or make it seem right…could be seen as forcing them to sin…effectively removing their right to any religious belief.

It would seem to me that many of these law suits are for no other purpose than to try subverting religious beliefs. There are other adoption agencies that are secular. There are other bakers that are secular. There are even other county clerks (and closer ones) that don’t have a problem signing a marriage license. To go to someone that you know doesn’t support your homosexuality because of religious beliefs and try to force them to support it is combative at the very least.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well it’s like the Free Speech thing. If your stuff is privately owned you make the rules.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I believe the problem comes when religious people believe that society should be regulated according to their beliefs. That’s untrue. A religious person’s behavior ought to be governed by their beliefs, but those beliefs should not influence society as a whole or government, at least in the US.

If an institution or business is providing a public service, that service should be available to the entire public. We decided a long time ago that restaurants should not be segregated by race. Why should LGBT individuals by denied service along the same lines?

To speak directly to the recent SCOTUS ruling, it did not give religious institutions the right to discriminate against LGBT people. Philadelphia had a clause in their contracts that allowed religious institutions to opt out of serving some populations. The city allowed this for some organizations but did not allow it for the Catholic organization. SCOTUS said the city can’t be arbitrary. They must allow exemptions even handedly across the board.

@Demosthenes, you must spend a lot of time on right-wing sites looking for trigger questions to bring back here to poke us with. It’s silly.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Nomore_lockout's avatar

I have my own views on that which I don’t care to argue about. I’ll only say that I haven’t been a fan of organized religion since I grew to adulthood. And I have been known to hint to “Christians” I know, that they might want to blow dust off of that New Testament and try reading it. Otherwise they may get a hell of a shock one day. No pun intended.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

One more thought. As far as the Catholic Church goes, I’m mildy surprised that they are so down on same sex marriage. Considering they seem to have no issues with Priests buggering choir boys. Just sayin’. Flame me and be damned. Only an observation.

kritiper's avatar

@Nomore_lockout There is a BIG difference. While the Catholic church has a thing about “same sex marriage,” and that thing is acceptable within the Catholic church, ”...Priests buggering choir boys” isn’t acceptable.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Tell them that. I have no issues with gays. But I know hypocrisy when I see it. They should clean up their own yard before they start the preaching about some one else mess.

kritiper's avatar

Your last post assumes ALL priests are guilty of “buggering choir boys” and that they, the Catholic church as a whole, find it acceptable, which they, the Catholic church as a whole, does not.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They can’t confess to the pedophilia.

kritiper's avatar

Can’t? Or won’t?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can’t. I would say “won’t ” but pedophilia is different from being gay according to “them.” So there is that.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I’m not bashing Catholics @kritiper. Why so defensive? I come from a long line of Irish Catholics. I’m just saying there is a lot of hypocrisy involved there. If you have issues with that then so be it. I have my views, you have yours. Peace out.

Patty_Melt's avatar

As @seawulf575 pointed out,the agency involved was not placing limits on other agencies, but merely their own. By disallowing hat particular agency they would limit all adoption opportunities, including gay/other parental make ups. People who could and do go to that agency, if it became unavailable, would have to seek assistance elsewhere, resulting in overburdening of the remaining agencies.

Many people have a convoluted idea of the idea of freedom. It does not equal free for all. In certain cases, limits must be set. In determining where limits must be placed, the overall outcomes must be considered.

Prayer was taken out of schools. Okay, that makes sense. An ideology is therefore not pressed on people with another ideology. However, private schools should be allowed to make the choice, to support the ideology of the parents who want to make that choice.

The alphabet nation needs to recognize the same goes for them. They should have options, but not limit everyone else to the values they hold, no options. That is like forcing everyone to use Tide pods because some people prefer that product. We can’t all agree on the same family structure, but we need to respect the options desired by others.

seawulf575's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I actually like your post. But I do see a couple things that I disagree with. You make the statement that religious people believe society ought to be regulated by their religious beliefs. I suspect this statement is close to the heart of the problem statement of the question. I think there are some that think that, but not as many as you think. BUT, those same religious people don’t want their beliefs to be ignored and caste to the status of “if its acceptable to everyone else”.

And there are other thoughts your comment give me. Many of our laws, in fact much of the founding ideals of this nation, are based on religious beliefs. The Founding Fathers were far more influenced by religious beliefs than many people these days. But that doesn’t make the entire system bad. There are many good religious beliefs. Take a look at what the 10 Commandments give us for example. Murder, adultery, theft, creating lies about others…all bad things and all are part of the basis of the Judeo-Christian ethos. You could even throw Islam into that statement if you want to spread out. In fact, most religions frown on these things. Jesus taught us to love one another as we love ourselves. That is a darn good ideal as well.

None of that means that every religious person adheres to these things strictly. They don’t. But these ideals are a part of the religion.

The comparison to blacks in restaurants is somewhat fair and somewhat not. Christianity, for instance, frowns on racism as well. But this is where the conflict really comes. They are told, several times in the bible, that homosexuality is a sin. So to them, participating in that is a sin as well. I suspect it is a fear thing because the bible does not tell us to ostracize homosexuals, just that we should not participate (as far as I remember). But it is then left up to the individuals (or in this case, the Catholic Church) to decide what constitutes participation. I know that at my church, the pastor has talked several times about homosexuality. He has had LGBT folks come to the church suggesting they would not be welcome there. His response is to tell them that while the bible says homosexuality is a sin, they are still welcome because we ALL sin. If we only welcomed non-sinners there would never be a single person that could enter.

The only other observation your comment gave me is that there isn’t much difference between you and your views of religious people. You think they are trying to force their beliefs onto you and society. But aren’t you doing the same thing by trying force them to accept and embrace LGBT ideals?

jca2's avatar

We have a separation of church and state. @seawulf575, when you mentioned the county clerk that would not give a marriage license to the gay couple, the county clerk is an elected official and she runs as an elected official to do a specific job, part of which is giving out marriage licenses, in accordance with the laws of the state, town, county, etc. So when the law says that gays can marry, she must do her job, even if it doesn’t jibe with her own personal beliefs. The fact that the gay couple can go to some other clerk in another county is not the point. They shouldn’t have to. Public funds (in the form of taxes) are paying the clerk’s salary to do her job in the County that the couple chose to go to. Maybe they didn’t even live in her County, I don’t remember the details but that is not the point. She is elected to do a job and if she can’t or won’t do it, she must resign.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake If you think my questions are silly, then don’t answer them. I happen to find the discussion these questions create to be interesting. If you think this is a “case closed, nothing to see here” issue, then clearly you are not listening to people like seawulf and Patty who I’m sure represent the views of many Americans.

And I’d prefer you not to comment on things you know nothing about (my motives for asking this question and where I get my question ideas) in the future. Thanks.

janbb's avatar

@Demosthenes FYI, @Hawaii_Jake has been a gay rights activist since before you were born. He knows a great deal about LBGTQ issues whether you like him personally or not.

Demosthenes's avatar

@janbb I edited my comment to make it clear I’m talking about what he said about where I get my question ideas and not what he said about LGBT. He made it personal so I responded in kind.

janbb's avatar

^^I see the edits now.

KNOWITALL's avatar

No they are not! Does God create mistakes? No.
Did God say we should judge eachother or did He tell us not to many times in that same Bible?

One thing, pedophilia and homosexuality should never be equated. That is causing a lot of these societal issues.

Denying children love and safety is sick and a bad decision. I grew up watching gay couples raise normal healthy kids.

This subject upsets my spirit greatly, as a human, Catholic and ally.

ragingloli's avatar

Not just gay rights.
The issue is that the religious as a collective do not keep to themselves.
They are driven by a perceived divine mandate to impose their beliefs on others.
Discriminating against gays, banning transgender people from sports and toilets, christian doctors denying life saving treatment to transgender people, genital mutilation perpetrated against infants of both genders, companies refusing to cover contraceptives in their insurance plans based on their “religious beliefs”, etc.

Demosthenes's avatar

@ragingloli That’s an important point as well. It’s true that there are LGBT people who seem to want to “convert” others to their point of view. I am gay and am personally not a fan of bullying cake shops, for example, into serving same-sex weddings mainly for the reason that I do not want the LGBT community to be seen as bullies. The owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop was hailed as a hero by the religious right but no one knows who the gay guys were who sued him (and if they’re mentioned at all, they’re seen as intolerant, overbearing, and anti-Christian). On the issue of the county clerk, I come out against her and do not sympathize with her. She is not a mom and pop operation. She is a public servant and should do her job. In the same way that a gay couple can find another cake shop, she can find another job.

But while the Bible says homosexuality is a sin it also says that Christians should spread their religion and try to convert others. So that is a balancing act Christians living in a secular society have to contend with. Some Christians are not subtle about their desire for what is essentially theocracy (though I think it’s fair to say these are in the minority).

jca2's avatar

@ragingloli: Add to that the pro-lifers who are pro-life because of abortion being against their religious beliefs.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 We do indeed have a separation of church and state. But you do realize how that is written in the Constitution, right? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” So the federal government cannot establish a federal religion and, by extension, show favoritism for or aggression against a specific religion. But the other part of that amendment that applies is that they cannot pass laws to prohibit people from practicing their religious beliefs. So while you are spouting that we have a separation of church and state, yet are touting that gay rights supersede religious rights, you are now arguing that its okay for the government to attack religious rights. So which is it? Do we have a separation or not?

As for the county clerk, you are, once again, missing all the points of that. Yes, she was an elected official and as such should support the law. Yet when she was elected, it was against the law in Kentucky for a same-sex marriage. When the Obergefell decision was being discussed, she asked the state for a reasonable accommodation concerning her having to sign the licenses. In line with many, many employment laws, and in line with the Civil Rights Act of 1963, people can ask for a reasonable accommodation to support religious rights. Asking for a tweak to the form to change it from the County Clerk signature to the County Clerk’s Office signature was not unreasonable. But it was denied. Then Obergefell happened and she was put into a spot for a number of reasons. Obergefell was a decision by the SCOTUS and almost immediately a gay couple ran to her office to apply. That they came from another county IS pertinent since it points to the aggression of the LGBT community towards religious rights. And you have to remember that at this time the Kentucky State Constitution still stated that marriage was between one man and one woman.

So now we have a situation where no law actually exists saying same sex marriage is legal…we only have a SCOTUS decision. We DO have a law in existence that says it is not allowed. So by your rationale, the county clerk is sworn to support the law, right? So if she follows the written law, isn’t that what she is supposed to do? She asked for reasonable accommodations and the state, in violation of employment laws, denied her request. In private companies this would result in a lawsuit that the company would lose. And on top of all this, she has religious beliefs that don’t support her participating. So we are back to the LGBT community trying to force their beliefs to override religious rights. And we are back to the conflict mentioned in the original question.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575: There is no conflict. I am a public servant and have been for almost 30 years. I have a job to do. If I am unwilling to do it, I would not last more than the month or two it takes the Law Department to process my disciplinary action. If things were changed while that lady was in office, she must roll with the punches or resign. If things change while I’m employed, I have to be flexible and comply with new rules and laws.

If you were correct and I were incorrect, the Supreme Court would hear her appeal. They denied it, as of 10/2020. Read on: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/supreme-court-denies-appeal-of-kentucky-clerk-who-refused-to-administer-gay-marriage-licenses/ar-BB19IUag

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 So you believe that governments and companies can discriminate against religious rights? Good to know.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575: Apparently the government (in the form of the Supreme Court) agrees with me. Good to know.

kritiper's avatar

@Nomore_lockout Just sayin’...
It’s like with mechanics. You get one bad one and they all get a bad rap. I don’t go for that. If a person means “some” people, they should specify “some” so as not to include all. And that was all I was attempting to point out.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Demosthenes You cannot choose your audience on a public forum.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, more and more our society is taking on the all or nothing attitude. It is a losing attitude for everyone since there is no way to categorize everyone into the same pot. That you can’t make everyone happy seems to have been forgotten.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 Did you happen to read the article you cited? To start with, you have to understand that the SCOTUS did not rule against Davis, they just declined to hear the appeal. No reason was given which is customary. However, in the article you cited, it appears as if the case presented wasn’t clearly specific so they chose not to hear it. And your citation goes on to show that a few of the justices had the belief that Davis is a victim of the SCOTUS ruling on Obergefell. They also predict she won’t be the last. It even goes on to show that this sort of clash between gays and religion was coming when they ruled on the Bostock v Clayton County case.

So while you want to puff your chest, your claims are false and/or exaggerated.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575: Only time will tell whether or not the SC hears her case.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

To give this question a more direct answer, no, in my view there is no real conflict. In the minds of a certain type of person perhaps, but in reality, nada. I fail to see how two gay guys walking down a sidewalk holding hands, is going to prevent me from entering any church of my choice. I walk up to the entrance, greet the priest / pastor/ rabbi, and enter. Unless the gay guys are holding me at gunpoint, please demonstrate how they infringe my “religious freedom” in any way? Hogswallop. On edit: Since we are all being so self righteous today, let me hop in as well. From everything I have ever heard or read about Jesus, I would strongly advise the pastors and flock, not to turn those guys away, based on their sexual preference. Jesus will probably take a dim view of that. If he exists. But, proceed at your own peril.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

One more thought. You ask, “Are the two compatible?” In the truest sense of “freedom”, why can’t they be? I don’t have to approve of your sexual habits / preferences. Conversely, you don’t have to approve of my spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof. Lack of approval does not imply right to intolerance. If you want to walk down a street holding another mans hand, break a leg. I may not like it but I have no right to interfere. Any more than you have a right to tell me what faith to partake in. Or that I’m a fool for believing or not believing. If we’re going to let Church interfere in civil life, then Church can start paying taxes. Separation of Church and State folks. END OF RANT I’m out.

JLeslie's avatar

I haven’t read most of the thread but my answer is not at all.

How does gay rights, which is about equality interfere with religious freedom at all?

Religion is a person issue. People have the freedom to practice their religion. Gay rights is about civil equality. A gay adult having equal rights under the law. So gay marriage is about two adults having the right to have a civil (legal) marriage. They do not have the right to a religious marriage under the law, that is up to the religious leaders.

As far as the cake lawsuit, that was about art, that’s how they one the case. Does an artist have the right to refuse creating something they disagree with. I think yes.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
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KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie The Right (generally not all) cannot morally support laws, and are often compelled to oppose, that contradict religious dogma.
I’m very interested in the liberal Catholics vs the Vatican right now. It’s important.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s the problem. The religious people conflate civil and religious law. Civil law is about providing an environment where religious people can freely live and practice their religion. They seem to not get that if people legislate based on religion then when a different religion gets into power they might do the same. Gay marriage is the best example present day of people mixing up civil and religious law.

The left also conflates religious and civil law. Some of them seem to think clergy should be forced to marry any couple before them, and no! Absolutely clergy can discriminate. The left needs to wake up about that.

We need to not give clergy the ability to perform a civil ceremony like other countries and that would take care of it.

Demosthenes's avatar

@JLeslie I often see that conflation too (from both sides). Like the whole “prayer in school” issue. Would those who want prayer in school be okay if the teacher is Muslim and it means taking out a prayer rug and facing Mecca?

ragingloli's avatar

@Demosthenes
Or shoehorning the phrase “under god” into the “pledge of allegiance”, turning it into a christian oath, then forcing children to recite it daily.
Or forcing people to put their hand on a bible when they swear to tell the truth in court, and requiring a “so help me god” at the end.
And before anyone tries to tell me that it is not specified which god is meant, please.
We all know that it refers specifically to the christan god.
Because people are now flipping out, because a high schooler replaced “god” with “allah” when regurgitating the pledge

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Exactly. Prayer in school doesn’t seem to come up as much lately, but for a while it was a big issue.

@ragingloli I think the laws in every state regarding reciting the pledge or swearing on the Bible have had exceptions for many many years. Some people are unaware that students have the right to not recite or don’t know people can swear to tell the truth without God or the Bible inserted, but at the legal level, luckily, the laws are there to protect people. Maybe there is a state or two I’m unaware of.

Furthermore, regarding the pledge, there are states that require schools do the pledge, but that’s different than requiring a student to do it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was in school in the 60s and 70s there were no prayers in school. I don’t know WTH people are talking about.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah, not in my school ever either. In the South I heard about it regarding a prayer before a football game, that sort of thing.

I think it’s more people trying to put prayer into schools. Back in the ‘90’s the topic came up a lot and I knew people who thought prayer should be in school.

Now, mostly what I hear is total BS to divide people like the BS fake war on Christmas that doesn’t exist. People write on social media children should be allowed to pray in school, like they aren’t allowed to, but they are. The teachers can’t lead a prayer, but if a child wants to pause for a prayer before lunch or whatever no one is stopping them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t think it’s anything we can change at this point. Regardless of the Catholic position, the other Christian lobbyists won’t ever back down for key issues.
As I posted previously the churches in my area accepting of LGBTQ’s were posted in the paper. But that doesn’t mean it’s all love and empathy, some still preach hetero marriage is the only key to salvation. Conversion in other words.
My friends Christian parents would not give him their blessing but wished him and his partner happiness.
It’s a really tough issue that many do not take lightly here.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I do have understanding for people who truly worry about salvation and genuinely worry for their loved ones and care about the country and believe following God’s laws protects the country. I don’t think everyone against gay marriage or who want laws to line up with their religious views are bad people. Most of them probably have very good intentions. I see why it’s difficult for them. I don’t see why they can’t turn the tables. Why they can’t imagine if someone wanted a Muslim law or Jewish law they disagreed with, why it’s important to keep government secular.

Secular doesn’t mean without ethics and morals, but I think some people perceive it that way.

I acknowledge some issues are very complicated. To me gay marriage is not complicated at all. Abortion I see as more complicated. That’s just my POV I know it’s different for different people.

LostInParadise's avatar

There have to be some limits as to what can be done in the name of religion. Should we allow virgin sacrifices?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie It’s kinda like the vaccines, some just aren’t going to get it, ever.

@LostInParadise It wasn’t long ago David Koresh was stockpiling weapons and marrying teen girls in bulk. There’s so much going on behind closed doors we can’t know.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Re: Pledge of Allegiance. I have always been given to understand, the The Pledge is something concocted after the Civil War, hence the One Nation, Indivisible part. “Under God” was added much later, during the early Cold War Era, as a thumb on the nose to the Godless Communists. I believe that part was added in during the Truman Administration.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

And this may be a bit off topic, but as far as removing the “Under God’ part, I could care less one way or the other. I have been skipping that part most of my life, since I threw in the towel on Organized Religion. And I have never been bothered. No one gives a shit, or even notices. Just my own two cents on that particular issue.

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