Do we really need the federal government to coerce every last baker, florist and adoption agency to violate their beliefs about marriage? This is a great question and we should think about the public policy implications carefully. The constitution does create freedom for us to exercise our religious faith.
It seems the intent of one side is not to gain a right as much as it is to coerce people of many faiths to capitulate on the very core of their religions belief.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage, a question arises: Should we protect the rights of Orthodox Jews, Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Latter-Day Saints and Muslims who believe that marriage is a union of husband and wife? Two bills recently introduced in Congress show diverging answers. One seeks to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence; the other adds fuel to a culture war by treating that traditional belief as racism.
Last week, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; and Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced what they call the “Equality Act.” The legislation would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to more or less every federal law that protects against racism.
Do we really need the federal government to coerce every last baker, florist and adoption agency to violate their beliefs about marriage? The market is already sorting these things out. The Human Rights Campaign reports, for example, that 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies voluntarily do not consider sexual orientation in employment decisions.