It’s always struck me as odd that the Religious Right, the Conservatives, and the Rightwingnuts say that The Gays are out to destroy religion because we’re asking for marriage equality. I’ve never felt that way, or seen any gay person say that, and I’ve yet to read the article where a gay couple is suing, say, the Catholic Church, or the Baptists, because they’re demanding to be married in one of their churches. I’ve yet to see a gay boycott of any one religion because they’re coming down on the wrong side — the anti-equality side — of history.
So this nonsense about The Gays and our fight for marriage equality being used to destroy religion, or persecute the religious, is just that nonsense. See, we don’t really care that the Catholic Church won’t perform same-sex weddings; or the Baptists, or any other church for that matter. You never hear us argue about religious exemption — which says that churches, ministers, pastors, rabbis, priests, cannot be forced into performing same-sex ceremonies — that is written into every marriage equality bill at the behest of the Religious Right, the Conservatives, and the Rightwingnuts. They say The Gays are out to destroy religion because we want to get married when, in fact, they’re the ones destroying their faith because of their anti-equality stance.
How else can we explain that fact that Reverend Ken Kline Smeltzer was fired after performing a same-sex marriage in State College, Pennsylvania, last month. As the pastor for a local Church of the Brethren parish — which he has not identified — he chose to perform the ceremony because his personal beliefs tell him that it’s the right thing to do. And now he’s gone.
Smeltzer married Pike County couple Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo on August 19 at the home of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham. The couple was one of those that had been issued a marriage license in Montgomery County after Register of Wills Bruce Hanes began issuing them in July.
Mayor Goreham had said she would marry any couple who received a license in Montgomery County, even though she had been advised that, by doing so, she could be perceived as violating her oath of office. So, she called Reverend Smeltzer.
“We were friends. I knew he was an ordained minister. I don’t know if we’d ever spoken about it. He loves to perform weddings and he thought about it and he said yes.” — Mayor Elizabeth Goreham
The day of the wedding Smeltzer offered a typed statement in which he said he had performed the ceremony because he supports marriage equality and because Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo “are very much in love and obviously committed to each other.” Afterwards, Smeltzer had said he would be happy, and willing, to perform another same-sex marriage, but he won’t have that chance now, because he’s been fired.
It still strikes me as funny that the Religious Right think that The Gays — in demanding marriage equality — might sue a church, or a pastor, and force them to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony when, in fact, that has never happened. But the church will fire anyone who does perform a so-called gay wedding.
Oh, and remmeber when some of The Gays — not yours truly however — werre singign the praises of pope Frankie because he seemed to be layign out a welcome mat forTeh Gays into the Catholic Church?
Yeah, not so much. See, shortly after Pope Francis made his meaningless comments about same-sex marriage and The Gays, and the United State’s military's extension of benefits to same sex couples, that the Archdiocese for the Military Services issued new rules regarding Catholic chaplains' involvement in same-sex marriages, funerals, and couple's counseling.
They reititerated that — even though The Gays aren’t asking for it, demanding it, requiring it — that military chaplains should not indicate support for marriage equality because, you know, the Catholics hate it, no matter what the Pope might have said. They also affirmed that Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage — and again, no one is demanding that — and they are not allowed to even counsel same-sex couples.
We aren’t asking for that; we’ve never asked that, but that isn’t stopping the churches from punishing their own, you know, those who choose to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. The Gays aren't out to destroy religion, Freedom of Religion or even Freedom from Religion; we would jhust like eqialitu, and if you don't wish to perform our weddign ceremonies, well, I'm failry certain we can find someone who will
Like The Reverend Smeltzer.