by Andrew Walden
Lambda Legal began preparing the ground for Abercrombie’s proposed gay marriage “religious exemption” as far back as 2007. A headline tells the story: “Gay Lawsuits Target Bed and Breakfasts, Churches Nationwide.”
Bed and Breakfasts were targeted in Hawaii and other states to set legal precedents regarding public accommodations law. Six years later, public accommodations law is the means by which Hawaii churches are to be gutted under Abercrombie’s gay marriage bill.
In early 2007 mainland gay activists hunted for a B&B to sue to create a Hawaii precedent. Eventually two California lesbians were refused a room in a private home in Hawaii Kai. Holding off until the timing was right, Lambda Legal finally sued in 2011. Because the home rents out four or fewer rooms and the homeowner lives on-site, case law had supported a claim that the B&B would be exempt from the public accommodations laws and would instead be governed by HRS515 housing law. For small private-home rentals, it has been perfectly acceptable to ‘discriminate’ in ways that true public accommodations cannot: some for instance renting out rooms to only women or only men depending on the comfort level.
By 2011 mainland gay lawyers knew they would need to create legal precedents in order to then manipulate the language of the religious freedom clause of any Hawaii gay marriage bill. So the Court and the media made sure that the lesbians won. Now homeowners renting out four or fewer rooms are governed by public accommodations law. They must either quit business or accept any client that shows up to stay in their private home.
Flash forward to Wednesday August 28, 2013. Abercrombie releases a draft gay marriage bill. The Star-Advertiser trumpets, “Religious exemption expanded in same-sex marriage bill draft--The governor issues an updated version of the draft legislation on gay nuptials that addresses churches.”
Even the most cursory look at the language in Abercrombie’s draft bill shows that the Star-Advertiser is wrong. In fact the bill is written in a way that would serve to wear down any of Hawaii’s churches, synagogues, mosques, Buddhist temples, Shinto jinja, or Hindu shrines which are unwilling to submit to government demands to overturn thousands of years of religious teaching.
Section 572-G (pg 7) reads:
Religious organizations and facilities; liability exemption under certain circumstances.
(a) A religious organization shall not be required to make a religious facility owned or leased by the religious organization available for solemnization of a particular marriage; provided that:
(1) The religious facility is regularly used by the religious organization for its religious purposes;
(2) For solemnization of marriages pursuant to this chapter, the religious organization restricts use of the religious facility to its members; and
(3) The religious organization does not operate the religious facility as a for-profit business.
Of course every church has hosted at least one wedding where either bride or groom was not a church member, therefore every church will be at risk under clause two. Over time, with enough legal harassment, churches will be required to either abandon one of their core sacraments -- marriage -- or bow to government-imposed religious dogma.
Clauses one and three are obviously designed to grind away at the financial underpinnings of prominent historic churches such as Kawaiahao which supports itself with wedding income—and less prominent churches which finance themselves with hall rentals for social events. Atheists are already suing Hawaii churches for $5.6M in a calculated move to undermine their finances and push them out of rented school facilities.
The much-ballyhooed “expanded exemption” reads:
A religious organization that refuses to make a religious facility available for solemnization of a marriage under subsection (a) shall not be subject to any fine, penalty, injunction, administrative proceeding, or civil liability for the refusal.
If there is to be no penalty, why then leave the ‘crime’ of practicing government-free religion on the books? At some point in the future, gay-atheist activists will create an incident and sue. Either the Court or the Legislature will wipe the “exemption” off the books just as the Court wiped the ‘four-room-or-less’ exemption from public accommodations law off the books in the Hawaii Kai B&B case.
Next comes “public accommodations”. The final paragraph of the section obliterates any “protections” offered in the preceding clauses:
(c) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to exempt the owner or operator of any religious facility from the requirements of chapter 489 if the religious facility is a place of public accommodation as defined in section 489-2."
And what is “a place of public accommodations” according to HRS 489-2?
"Place of public accommodation" means a business, accommodation, refreshment, entertainment, recreation, or transportation facility of any kind whose goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made available to the general public as customers, clients, or visitors. By way of example, but not of limitation, place of public accommodation includes facilities of the following types:
(1) A facility providing services relating to travel or transportation; ….
(6) A motion picture theater, other theater, auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment; ….
(12) An establishment that is physically located within the premises of an establishment otherwise covered by this definition, or within the premises of which is physically located a covered establishment, and which holds itself out as serving patrons of the covered establishment.
To avoid being a “place of public accommodations”, a church would have to violate its core beliefs by closing its doors to the public. A church bus constitutes “transportation services”. A church with any type of community program in its facility could be deemed to be providing “entertainment or recreation.” A church school includes a “lecture hall.” Churches could be defined as “theater, auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, concert hall … or other place of exhibition or entertainment” even if all they do is hold services on Sundays.
The Star-Advertiser reports:
Avi Soifer, dean of the University of Hawaii-Manoa law school, who prepared the draft for the task force, wrote that the bill “deals with the not uncommon situation in which two constitutional rights pull in (opposite) directions: While the constitution’s protection of religious freedom supports a strong religious exemption clause, the constitution’s requirement of equal protection necessitates a framework in which all people are entitled to equal treatment under the law.
“Balancing these competing interests is not easy, but the proposed legislation successfully accommodates both of these vibrant constitutional principles.”
Gay ‘marriage’ has no historical antecedent anywhere in the entire history of the human race -- prior to its invention out of thin air by the corrupt ‘Broken Trust’ Hawaii Supreme Court in 1993.
Twenty years later gay ’marriage’ is a “vibrant constitutional principle” to be “accommodated.” Yes, Avi Sofer actually slipped in a reference to accommodations. He is laughing at you.
Gay marriage was invented out of thin air and harnessed to ‘political correctness’ to give the government a way to reshape the family structure and rewrite religion. If not, why risk losing the vote on gay marriage just to screw the churches?
Full Text: Abercrombie Releases Draft of Gay ‘Marriage’ Bill
Background: Gay Lawsuits Target Bed and Breakfasts, Churches Nationwide
OHA Chair Colette Machado Joins Rally Against Gay Marriage Special Session
Bishop Silva: "To Discriminate Regarding Marriage is NOT Unjust"
Martin Luther King Jr Recommends Gay Conversion Therapy
Dalai Lama: “They want me to condone homosexuality…a relationship between two men is wrong.”
Lech Walesa: “Gays should not impose themselves on the majority”