Most of us reject that argument on the grounds that religious liberty means something more than confining one's arena of religious belief and expression to church property; but the latest development in New Hampshire shows that gay activists have no intention of respecting religious freedom even according to this minimalist definition:
MANCHESTER, N.H., May 20 (Reuters) - New Hampshire lawmakers unexpectedly rejected a bill on Wednesday that would have made the state the sixth in the United States to authorize gay marriage.
The state's Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted down the bill in a 188-186 vote, hours after its Senate approved the legislation 14-10 along party lines. An earlier version of the bill passed the lower chamber on March 26.
The legislature had been asked to approve language that would give legal protections, including the right to decline to marry same-sex couples, to clergy and others affiliated with religious organizations.
That wording was added by Governor John Lynch, a Democrat who promised to sign the bill if those changes were made.
The House vote against the governor's amendment means the bill will be sent to a committee that will try to resolve the differences between the two chambers. It remains unclear how the governor would respond to any changes to his wording.
Lynch has said he would veto gay marriage if his wording is not adopted.
State Representative Steve Vaillancourt, a gay Republican from Manchester, was a leading voice against the amendment securing religious liberties, saying that the House should not be "bullied" by the governor.
Vaillancourt said an earlier bill that did not provide protections to clerics or religious groups was the one that should have been passed, adding that the amended bill would allow discrimination to be written into state law. (Emphasis added--E.M.)
So, any provisions in the law to protect religious groups or even clerics from having to toe the state-sodomy marriage line is somehow the equivalent of writing "discrimination" into state law. Mark my words--there will be no real religious freedom if state-sponsored sodomy marriage (SSM) is made legal, overturning the definition of marriage, centuries of human custom, and common sense.
For now, the good thing is that the wrangling about language has stalled New Hampshire's efforts to legalize SSM in their state. And New Hampshire's governor has said he will veto any bill that does not contain the religious protection language, which may put the two sides at an impasse.
But the larger lesson from New Hampshire is this: when gay activists say that they're not trying to destroy religious freedom in America, they're lying. There's no idea of tolerance for the views of those millions of Americans who think that two males or two females engaging in some sorts of sex acts does not make a marriage. There's no notion of getting along with those whose deeply-held, centuries-old religious beliefs teach that homosexual acts are always immoral, and that marriage is a relationship that has nothing to do with this sort of behavior. It should be obvious by now that gay activists intend to force everyone to acquiesce in and even celebrate their lifestyles, and will stand against any effort by the law to protect the free speech, free assembly, and freedom of religion of those who insist that homosexual acts are gravely sinful. Peaceful coexistence is not the end game of the gay rights movement; it never was.