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Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:30 am

Again, our Constitution would prohibit a minister, priest or rabbi being fined for refusing to marry anyone. Period.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby kurt_w » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:56 am

One nice thing about getting married in a Quaker meeting is that there's no officiant at all. No minister, no priest, no rabbi. No judge or justice of the peace, either. The couple marries each other, rather than being married by someone else.

You don't have to have the state involved at all, but if you choose to get a marriage license, you just write your own names down on the line for "officiant". Yes, it's legal, though sometimes it raises eyebrows at the county clerk's office.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby rabble » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:08 am

penquin wrote:What I was trying to say is that it is dramatic to worry about a gun being held to the head of a minister in order to make him perform a GLBT wedding. If the law was to interject itself into the situation, then fines would be more realistic way of enforcement.

Ah. So what you're saying is that there's never been a law that says a minister has to marry anyone who asks, and there never will be, and there's no chance at all of one ever even being proposed, but if there was it would be in the form of fines, not guns.

Yes, that's probably true. Unless the minister has superpowers. Or is good with a bow like that Green Arrow guy. That would be different.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby Stu Levitan » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:49 am

I'll be playing a 2010 interview with Michelle Shocked on my show tomorrow.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby penquin » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:31 pm

...there never will be, and there's no chance at all of one ever even being proposed...


Nope, that ain't quite what I'm saying either. Sorry for the confusion. Without having a magical crystal ball it is impossible for one to say something "would never happen, period"....especially involving how courts will rule and laws will be enforced.

After all, there already are laws on the books, in some states, that makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Is it really so outrageous to think those laws could be applied to those who refuses to do any GLBT weddings? Previous court rulings have overrode the First Amendment in other situations (Despite their religious beliefs, it is illegal for Fundamentalist Mormons to practice polygamy and it is illegal for Rastafarians to grow/possess marijuana) so why do so many folks think all that "Freedom of Religion!" is the be-all and end-all trump card?
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby lukpac » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:34 pm

penquin wrote:After all, there already are laws on the books, in some states, that makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Is it really so outrageous to think those laws could be applied to those who refuses to do any GLBT weddings?


Pretty much, yes. Especially if we're talking about churches.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby DCB » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:00 pm

penquin wrote: Is it really so outrageous to think those laws could be applied to those who refuses to do any GLBT weddings?

lukpac wrote:Pretty much, yes. Especially if we're talking about churches.

Of course its outrageous. Catholic churches won't be forced to marry homosexuals - they'll be banned altogether! Right after we confiscate all the guns.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:44 am

lukpac wrote:
penquin wrote:After all, there already are laws on the books, in some states, that makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Is it really so outrageous to think those laws could be applied to those who refuses to do any GLBT weddings?


Pretty much, yes. Especially if we're talking about churches.

Same-sex marriage has been around long enough that there are starting to be cases testing what happens when someone refuses to host or authorize or conduct a same-sex marriage (in states where SSM is legal).

There are also laws on the books that make it illegal to discriminate based on race, which might be used as an analogy here.

In Louisiana in 2009, a Justice of the Peace (i.e., elected official) drew attention for his policy of not signing marriage licenses for interracial couples. He later resigned in the face of a lawsuit.

In upstate New York in 2011, a Town Clerk refused to sign a marriage license for a same-sex couple. The state had previously warned town clerks that they could be charged with a misdemeanor for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Ledyard, NY town clerk arranged for her deputy to sign the licenses in her stead, and was later re-elected.

In general, state SSM laws make it clear that if a notary public marries opposite-sex couples they have to marry same-sex couples. See for example, this article about a recent case in Maine. The article ends on an interesting note:

Both men were surprised to be turned away from a town office where they had registered to vote, paid taxes, bought dog licenses and registered vehicles numerous times without incident.

The experience was particularly offensive to Hirschmann, a retired career Navy officer and a former Portland firefighter and paramedic.

"I worked for the government my whole life," he said. "I never had the option to say, 'No, I don't want to do my duty because it goes against my political or religious beliefs or because it makes me feel bad.' "


What about churches? In general, legal experts say that churches themselves have absolute control over whom they accept as members, who they allow to marry, etc. Anti-SSM advocates have suggested that churches risk losing their tax-exempt status if they discriminate, but legal experts suggest that won't happen.

In 2012 a Mississippi church refused to marry couple because they are black. The minister did ultimately perform the marriage, but at another church elsewhere. The church faced an extremely negative public reaction, but as far as I can tell there's been no legal consequences.

In 2011 a Kentucky church briefly voted to ban interracial couples from membership and participation in church services. The church later reversed itself, claiming that it would be illegal for the church's bylaws to violate non-discrimination laws, but it's not clear to me that this is true.

One frequently cited case in the other direction involves Bob Jones University, which lost its tax-exempt tax-exempt status over its ban on interracial dating. My understanding is that the court limited its ruling to BJU's role as an educational institution, so the case would not set a precedent for churches.

Likewise, a New Jersey Methodist association was given a tax break for its boardwalk pavilion on the grounds that it was open to the general public. When they prevented same-sex couples from having civil union ceremonies in the pavilion, the courts removed the pavilion's tax-exempt status, though they kept that status for the rest of the association's property.

In general, most experts seem to think that government officials will not be allowed to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while churches will be allowed to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. The gray zone is whether private businesses will be allowed to discriminate. For example, there have been multiple cases of bakeries refusing to provide same-sex couples with wedding cakes -- as far as I can tell, none of the cases have led to legal action. On the other hand, a prominent New Mexico case involving a photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony has been working its way through the courts for years, and at least one inn has decided not to host wedding receptions at all, after settling a lawsuit over their refusal to host a same-sex wedding reception.

This question involves the intersection of three legal issues that have all been evolving rapidly during the past couple of decades -- same-sex marriage, non-discrimination laws, and freedom-of-religion laws. Can pharmacists refuse to dispense contraceptives to unmarried people? Can churches, or private businesses, limit their involvement in same-sex marriage? What about individuals who happen to hold government positions (like town clerks) that are involved in marriage?

A couple of decades ago the idea that we'd even be discussing this would have seemed incomprehensible to most people. Given the pace of social change on this issue, I wouldn't be confident making any prediction about what it will look like in another two decades. I can honestly see any outcome as possible, from one extreme (court decisions guaranteeing individuals' religious freedom to refuse to have any connection with same-sex marriages) to the other (strict application of non-discrimination laws).
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby penquin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:55 pm

Thanks Kurt. You put it much better than I could/did. With links and everything.

And since there has already been a lot of confusion about what I was trying to communicate I'd like to clearly state that I'm not "anti-SSM" one bit, rather it just seems pretty obvious which way this issue is heading.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby rabble » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:14 pm

Aha. So, when everybody else was talking about clergy, you were talking about government employees.

Well yes, that does make a bit of difference.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby Average Joe » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:06 pm

Is penquin that douche purple penguin that crapped all over the forum years ago?
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby penquin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:55 am

rabble wrote:Aha. So, when everybody else was talking about clergy, you were talking about government employees.


Nope, wasn't what I was trying to say at all. Sorry about the confusion, but I thought it was pretty clear in this message that I beleive a "for-hire" minister would most likely first be exposed to legal actions for refusing to perform a SSM, especially if it is flat-out stated that the refusal is due to it being a SSM. Depending on how that went over, it could go even further.

I understand that many folks honestly beleive nothing of the sort could never happen, but I'm astonished that some find the idea completely and totally unfathomable.

(PS to Joe: "Purplepenquin" is my full nickname, but I think it is a lil' dramatic to label me a "douche". And truly...if you must drag up old shit and re-hash battles from over five years ago, well...uhm...I really don't think this is the place to do that. Do you?)
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby wack wack » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:48 am

penquin wrote:A strong test case would probably have to involve a "for hire" minister (advertises and has performed all kinds of different ceremonies) who backs out of doing a gay wedding.


In the scenario provided: has the "for-hire" minister signed a contract to perform the service, then discovered the couple was gay and backed out, thus creating a breach of contract?

Or, is the "for-hire" minister also a judge who is refusing to officiate a legal union against what the law and dictates of his position require?

Otherwise, what liability do you believe the for-hire preacher faces by refusing to officiate a church-based, non-legal-status gay marriage?
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby Bland » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:22 pm

wack wack wrote:Or, is the "for-hire" minister also a judge who is refusing to officiate a legal union against what the law and dictates of his position require?
You're making a bit of a false distinction here, as judges do not perform marriages as part of their day-job duties -- apparently it's just a sideline. When I got married, my fiancee and I both agreed we wanted no mention of God or any other religious trappings, so we sought out a judge to perform the ceremony. We just assumed we could do the ceremony in his chambers, but he informed us that was illegal, as it is not an official court function. We ended up just doing it in the lobby of his building.
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Re: Michelle Shocked: God hates faggots

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:26 pm

Ms Vilas and I were married by Circuit Court Judge Richard Bardwell in 1976 in his chambers at the City/County Building. Does that mean our marriage isn't legal?
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