AP article – Divide over Religious Exemptions on Gay Marriage
The last part of this article seemed to be the most telling:
"The religious community would have done much better to ask for protection for their religious liberty instead of trying to stop same-sex marriage and try to prevent it for everybody," said church-state expert Douglas Laycock of the University of Virginia, who is recommending the more pragmatic course. "The more same-sex marriage seems inevitable, the less likely we are to see religious liberty protection in blue states."
But Matthew Franck, of the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank in Princeton, N.J., argued the only real protection for religious freedom is maintaining the traditional definition of marriage. He said same-sex marriage advocates are unlikely to tolerate for long any "deviations from the 'new normal' they wish to create," so he predicted religious exemptions granted now will eventually be repealed.
"We have not lost the fight for the truth about marriage, and surrendering the field is premature," Franck said. "I continue to hope that it will never finally be necessary, and I work to make that hope a reality."
Whatever strategy the faith groups choose, there's no sign gay rights advocates are prepared to make major concessions.
Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is one of the very few gay-rights supporters publicly urging fellow advocates to be more magnanimous. He argues that offering religious accommodations makes sense politically.
"I think there's a real risk that we will overreach and set up the other side to portray itself as the victim if we decide we have to stamp out every instance of religious based anti-gay discrimination," Rauch said. "I also think that there's a moral reason. What the gay rights movement is fighting for is not just equality for gays but freedom of conscience to live openly according to their identity. I don't think we should be in the business of being as intolerant of others as they were to us."
Others reject such accommodations.
Rose Saxe, an ACLU senior staff attorney, said the call for a middle ground, "while trying to sound reasonable, is really asking for a license to discriminate." And the Rev. Darlene Nipper of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said religious groups have another choice: They can accept same-sex marriage.
Hurray, I was the first person posting a comment to this article. I posted: