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Sunday, September 22, 2013
First Amendment: 14 Gay Marriage Laws vs Abercrombie
By Andrew Walden @ 9:46 PM :: 2090 Views :: Family, First Amendment, Religion
 

“Its a Republic, if you can keep it.” –  Ben Franklin

by Andrew Walden

Thirteen states and Washington DC have enacted gay marriage.  With gay marriage on the agenda for an October 28 special session of the Hawaii legislature, debate has erupted over the protections for religious freedom in the proposed text of the gay marriage bill released by Governor Neil Abercrombie. 

Contrary to false assurances from Abercrombie, the Hawaii ACLU, and the editors of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the religious freedom clauses of Abercrombie’s proposed gay marriage bill are substantially weaker than the language used by other states.  (See the full text of 15 gay marriage religious freedom clauses compared below.)

Comparing the language in Abercrombie’s proposed bill to language from the laws of every other state which has created gay marriage the akamai reader will note:

1) language used by other states which specifically references the US Constitution—language which was removed from Abercrombie’s proposed section 572-F,

2) the absence of anything even remotely resembling clauses 1, 2, and 3 contained in Abercrombie’s proposed Section 572-G (a),

3) other states’ repeated references to protection of non-profit organizations and fraternal societies affiliated with religious institutions and

4) other states’ language which specifically exempts religious organizations and their affiliates from the dictates of public accommodations laws -- in contrast to Abercrombie’s proposed Section 572-G (c).

If there is any doubt that the intent is to use government power to re-write centuries-old religious beliefs, consider this anti-First Amendment view from the Editors of the Star-Advertiser August 27: “Several churches in Hawaii allow couples that are not members to use some facilities to commemorate their wedding vows. Such commercial activity clearly should fall under the state's public accommodations law, which prohibits discrimination.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii Gay Marriage Bill (as proposed)

§572-F Refusal to solemnize a marriage. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any minister, priest, officer of any religious denomination or society, or religious society not having clergy but providing solemnizations that is authorized to perform solemnizations pursuant to this chapter to solemnize any marriage, and no such minister, priest, officer of any religious denomination or society, or religious society not having clergy that fails or refuses for any reason to solemnize any marriage under this section shall be subject to any fine, penalty, or other civil action for the failure or refusal.

§572-G 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.

(b) 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.

(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."

Chapter 489 is Hawaii Public Accommodations Law which requires prohibition against refusal of services based on:  "’Gender identity or expression’ include(ing) a person's actual or perceived gender, as well as a person's gender identity, gender-related self-image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression, regardless of whether that gender identity, gender-related self-image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex at birth.”

California:

From California 2006 State Supreme Court opinion in In re Marriages:

Footnote 11: From the state‟s inception, California law has treated the legal institution of civil marriage as distinct from religious marriage. Article XI, section 12 of the California Constitution of 1849 provided in this regard: “No contract of marriage, if otherwise duly made, shall be invalidated by want of conformity to the requirements of any religious sect.” This provision is now set forth, in identical language, in Family Code section 420, subdivision (c).…

p 117: …affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs. (Cal. Const., art. I, § 4.)

Connecticut:

Sec. 17. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage and such solemnization or celebration is in violation of their religious beliefs and faith. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action, or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

Sec. 18. (NEW) (Effective from passage) The marriage laws of this state shall not be construed to affect the ability of a fraternal benefit society to determine the admission of members as provided in section 38a-598 of the general statutes or to determine the scope of beneficiaries in accordance with section 38a-636 of the general statutes, and shall not require a fraternal benefit society that has been established and is operating for charitable and educational purposes and which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization to provide insurance benefits to any person if to do so would violate the fraternal benefit society's free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and section 3 of article first of the Constitution of the state.

Sec. 19. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Nothing in this act shall be deemed or construed to affect the manner in which a religious organization may provide adoption, foster care or social services if such religious organization does not receive state or federal funds for that specific program or purpose.

Delaware:

(e) Other than as provided in this subsection, nothing in this section shall be construed to require any person (including any clergyperson or minister of any religion) authorized to solemnize a marriage to solemnize any marriage, and no such authorized person who fails or refuses for any reason to solemnize a marriage shall be subject to any fine or other penalty for such failure or refusal. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a clerk of the peace who issues a marriage license, or a deputy thereof, shall be required to perform a solemnization of such marriage if requested by the applicants for such license.…

Section 8. Religious Freedom. Nothing in this Act is intended to, nor shall this Act be construed in a manner that would, violate any person’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or §§1, 2 or 5 of Article I of the Constitution of this State, including protected rights of freedom of religion thereunder. Nothing in this Act shall interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious society. Any religious society is free to choose which marriages it will solemnize.

Iowa:

This contrast of opinions in our society largely explains the absence of any religion-based rationale to test the constitutionality of Iowa’s same-sex marriage ban. Our constitution does not permit any branch of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of ensuring government avoids them. See Iowa Const. art. I, § 3 (“The general assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . .”).  The statute at issue in this case does not prescribe a definition of marriage for religious institutions. Instead, the statute declares, “Marriage is a civil contract” and then regulates that civil contract. Iowa Code § 595A.1. Thus, in pursuing our task in this case, we proceed as civil judges, far removed from the theological debate of religious clerics, and focus only on the concept of civil marriage and the state licensing system that identifies a limited class of persons entitled to secular rights and benefits associated with civil marriage.

We, of course, have a constitutional mandate to protect the free exercise of religion in Iowa, which includes the freedom of a religious organization to define marriages it solemnizes as unions between a man and a woman. See Iowa Const. art. I, § 3 (“The general assembly shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise [of religion] . . . .”). This mission to protect religious freedom is consistent with our task to prevent government from endorsing any religious view. State government can have no religious views, either directly or indirectly, expressed through its legislation. Knowlton v. Baumhover, 182 Iowa 691, 710, 166 N.W. 202, 208 (1918). This proposition is the essence of the separation of church and state.

As a result, civil marriage must be judged under our constitutional standards of equal protection and not under religious doctrines or the religious views of individuals. This approach does not disrespect or denigrate the religious views of many Iowans who may strongly believe in marriage as a dual-gender union, but considers, as we must, only the constitutional rights of all people, as expressed by the promise of equal protection for all. We are not permitted to do less and would damage our constitution immeasurably by trying to do more.

The only legitimate inquiry we can make is whether [the statute] is constitutional. If it is not, its virtues . . . cannot save it; if it is, its faults cannot be invoked to accomplish its destruction. If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned.  -- Home Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 483, 54 S. Ct. 231, 256, 78 L. Ed. 413, 452 (1934) (Sutherland, J. dissenting).

In the final analysis, we give respect to the views of all Iowans on the issue of same-sex marriage—religious or otherwise—by giving respect to our constitutional principles. These principles require that the state recognize both opposite-sex and same-sex civil marriage. Religious doctrine and views contrary to this principle of law are unaffected, and people can continue to associate with the religion that best reflects their views. A religious denomination can still define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and a marriage ceremony performed by a minister, priest, rabbi, or other person ordained or designated as a leader of the person’s religious faith does not lose its meaning as a sacrament or other religious institution. The sanctity of all religious marriages celebrated in the future will have the same meaning as those celebrated in the past. The only difference is civil marriage will now take on a new meaning that reflects a more complete understanding of equal protection of the law. This result is what our constitution requires.

Maine:

3.  Affirmation of religious freedom.  This Part does not authorize any court or other state or local governmental body, entity, agency or commission to compel, prevent or interfere in any way with any religious institution's religious doctrine, policy, teaching or solemnization of marriage within that particular religious faith's tradition as guaranteed by the Maine Constitution, Article 1, Section 3 or the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. A person authorized to join persons in marriage and who fails or refuses to join persons in marriage is not subject to any fine or other penalty for such failure or refusal.

Maryland:

SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That an official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony may not be required to solemnize or officiate any particular marriage or religious rite of any marriage in violation of the right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by the Maryland Constitution and Maryland Declaration of Rights. Each religious organization, association, or society has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine, policy teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within that faith. An official of a religious order or body authorized to join individuals in marriage under §2–406(a)(2)(i) of the Family Law Article and who fails or refuses to join individuals in marriage is not subject to any fine or other penalty for the failure or refusal.

SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That:

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization, association, or society, may not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request for the services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges is related to:

(1) the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage that is in violation of the entity’s religious beliefs; or

(2) the promotion of marriage through any social or religious programs or services, in violation of the entity’s religious beliefs, unless State or federal funds are received for that specific program or service.

(b) A refusal by an entity described in subsection (a) of this section, or of any individual who is employed by an entity described in subsection (a) of this section, to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with subsection (a) of this section may not create a civil claim or cause of action or result in any State action to penalize, withhold benefits from, or discriminate against the entity or individual.

(c) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed or construed to prohibit any religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting admission to or giving preferences to individuals of the same religion or denomination when otherwise permitted by law.

SECTION 4. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That:

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a fraternal benefit society described in § 8–402 of the Insurance Article that is operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization may not be required to admit an individual as a member or to provide insurance benefits to an individual if to do so would violate the society’s religious beliefs.

(b) A refusal by a fraternal benefit society described in subsection (a) of this section to admit an individual as a member or to provide insurance benefits to an individual may not create a civil claim or cause of action or constitute the basis for the withholding of governmental benefits or services from the fraternal benefit society.

Massachusetts:

IIIA We begin by considering the nature of civil marriage itself. Simply put, the government creates civil marriage. In Massachusetts, civil marriage is, and since pre-Colonial days has been, precisely what its name implies: a wholly secular institution. See Commonwealth v. Munson, 127 Mass. 459, 460-466 (1879) (noting that “[i]n Massachusetts, from very early times, the requisites of a valid marriage have been regulated by statutes of the Colony, Province, and Commonwealth,” and surveying marriage statutes from 1639 through 1834). No religious ceremony has ever been required to validate a Massachusetts marriage.…

Footnote 29: We are concerned only with the withholding of the benefits, protections, and obligations of civil marriage from a certain class of persons for invalid reasons. Our decision in no way limits the rights of individuals to refuse to marry persons of the same sex for religious or any other reasons. It in no way limits the personal freedom to disapprove of, or to encourage others to disapprove of, same-sex marriage. Our concern, rather, is whether historical, cultural, religious, or other reasons permit the State to impose limits on personal beliefs concerning whom a person should marry.

Minnesota:

363A.26 EXEMPTION BASED ON RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION.

Nothing in this chapter prohibits any religious association, religious corporation, or religious society that is not organized for private profit, or any institution organized for educational purposes that is operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious association, religious corporation, or religious society that is not organized for private profit, from:

(1) limiting admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination; or

(2) in matters relating to sexual orientation, taking any action with respect to education, employment, housing and real property, or use of facilities. This clause shall not apply to secular business activities engaged in by the religious association, religious corporation, or religious society, the conduct of which is unrelated to the religious and educational purposes for which it is organized.; or

(3) taking any action with respect to the provision of goods, services, facilities, or accommodations directly related to the solemnization or celebration of a civil marriage that is in violation of its religious beliefs.

Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.09, is amended to read:

517.09 SOLEMNIZATION.

Subdivision 1. General. No particular form is required to solemnize a civil marriage, except: the parties shall declare in the presence of a person authorized to solemnize civil marriages and two attending witnesses that they take each takes the other as husband and, wife, or spouse; or the civil marriage shall be solemnized in a manner provided by section 517.18.

Subd. 2. Refusal to solemnize; protection of religious doctrine. Each religious organization, association, or society has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine, policy, teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within that faith. A licensed or ordained member of the clergy or other person authorized by section 517.04 to solemnize a civil marriage is not subject to any fine, penalty, or civil liability for failing or refusing to solemnize a civil marriage for any reason.

Subd. 3. Refusal to participate or support solemnization; protection of religious belief.

(a) Except for secular business activities engaged in by a religious association, religious corporation, or religious society, the conduct of which is unrelated to the religious and educational purposes for which it is organized, no religious association, religious corporation, or religious society shall be required to provide goods or services at the solemnization or celebration of any civil marriage or be subject to civil liability or any action by the state that penalizes, fines, or withholds any benefit to the religious association, religious corporation, or religious society under the laws of this state, including, but not limited to, laws regarding tax exempt status, for failing or refusing to provide goods or services at the solemnization or celebration of any civil marriage, if providing such goods or services would cause the religious association, religious corporation, or religious society to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

(b) The exception in paragraph (a) applies to employees, agents, and volunteers acting within the capacity of their employment or responsibilities with a religious association, religious corporation, or religious society.

    Sec. 6. [517.201] RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAW; RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

Subdivision 1. Religious freedom; Human Rights Act.

(a) This chapter does not alter or affect the protections or exemptions provided in chapter 363A for a religious association, educational institution, business, labor organization, place of public accommodation, employer, or other person.

(b) This chapter must not be construed to affect the manner in which a religious association, religious corporation, or religious society that is not organized for private profit, or an institution organized for educational purposes that is operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious association, religious corporation, or religious society that is not organized for private profit, provides adoption, foster care, or social services, if that association, corporation, society, or educational institution does not receive public funds for that specific program or purpose.

New Hampshire:

1.   New Paragraph: Affirmation of Freedom of Religion in Marriage. Amend RSA 457:37 by inserting the following introductory paragraph:

Each religious organization, association, or society has exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within their faith.

2.   New Paragraphs; Affirmation of Freedom of Religion in Marriage. Amend RSA 457:37 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraphs:

III.   Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association, or society, or any individual who is managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if such request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage, the celebration of a marriage, or the promotion of marriage through religious counseling, programs, courses, retreats, or housing designated for married individuals, and such solemnization, celebration, or promotion of marriage is in violation of his or her religious beliefs and faith. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such religious organization, association, or society, or any individual who is managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society.

IV.   The marriage laws of this state shall not be construed to affect the ability of a fraternal benefit society to determine the admission of members pursuant to RSA 418:5, and shall not require a fraternal benefit society that has been established and is operating for charitable or educational purposes and which is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization to provide insurance benefits to any person if to do so would violate the fraternal benefit society’s free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and part I, article 5 of the New Hampshire constitution.

V.   Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed or construed to limit the protections and exemptions provided to religious organizations under RSA 354-A:18.

New York:

§ 10-b. Application.

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, pursuant to subdivision nine of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law, a corporation incorporated under the benevolent orders law or described in the benevolent orders law but formed under any other law of this state or a religious corporation incorporated under the education law or the religious corporations laws shall be deemed to be in its nature distinctly private and therefore, shall not be required to provide accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.

2. A refusal by a benevolent organization or a religious corporation, incorporated under the education law or the religious corporations law, to provide accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges in connection with section ten-a of this article shall not create a civil claim or cause of action.

3. Pursuant to subdivision eleven of section two hundred ninety-six of the executive law, nothing in this article shall be deemed or construed to prohibit any religious or denominational institution or organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization from limiting employment or sales or rental of housing accommodations or admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination or from taking such action as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.

Rhode Island:

15-3-6.1. Protection of freedom of religion in marriage. –

(a) Consistent with the guarantees of freedom of religion set forth by both the First Amendment to the United States constitution and article I section 3 of the Rhode Island constitution, each religious institution has exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, and teachings regarding who may marry within its faith, and on what terms, as long as such policies are consistent with sections 15-1-2, 15-1-3, 15-1-4 and 15-1-5. No court or other state or local governmental body, entity, agency or commission shall compel, prevent, or interfere in any way with any religious institution's decisions about marriage eligibility within that particular faith's tradition.

(b) Consistent with the guarantees of freedom of religion set forth by both the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I section 3 of the Rhode Island constitution, no regularly licensed or ordained clergyperson, minister, elder, priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination as described and authorized in sections 15-3-5 and 15-3-6 of the general laws to officiate at a civil marriage, is required to solemnize any marriage. A regularly licensed or ordained clergyperson, minister, elder, priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action based on a refusal to solemnize any marriage under this chapter. No state agency or local government may base a decision to penalize, withhold benefits from, or refuse to contract with any church or religious denomination on the refusal of a person associated with such church or religious denomination to solemnize a marriage under this chapter.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religions organization, association, or society, and any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by a religious organization, association or society, or a fraternal benefit or service organization that has among its stated purposes the promotion and support or protection of a religious organization, association or society and that restricts membership to practicing members of that religious organization, association or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges is related to:

(1) The solemnization of a marriage or the celebration of a marriage, and such solemnization or celebration is in violation of its religious beliefs and faith; or

(2) The promotion of marriage through any social or religious programs or services, which violates the religious doctrine or teachings of religious organization, association or society.  Any refusal by an entity described above or an officer, employee or member thereof acting in an official capacity on behalf of that entity to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this subsection shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. This subsection shall not be construed to limit a religious organization, association, or society, or a fraternal benefit or service organization as described in this subsection, from selectively providing services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to some individuals with respect to solemnization or celebration of a marriage but not to others.

(d) Nothing in the marriage laws of this state shall be deemed or construed to limit the protections and exemptions provided to religious organizations under GL paragraph 28-5-6(7)(ii) and subsection 34-37-4.2(a).

(e) A fraternal benefit or service organization that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious organization and a fraternal benefit or service organization which has among its stated purposes the promotion, support or protection of a religious organization and which restricts its membership to practicing members of that religious organization shall not be required to admit any individual as a member or to provide benefits to any individual. A refusal by a fraternal benefit or service organization by a member, officer or employee thereof acting in an official capacity on behalf of a society described herein, to admit an individual as a member or to provide benefits related to a marriage which is in violation of the religious doctrine or teachings of the religious organization to which its members are required to adhere, shall not create a civil claim or result in any government action to penalize, withhold benefits from the fraternal benefit or service organization or discriminate against a society or a member, officer or employee described herein.

Vermont:

This section does not require a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize a marriage as set forth in subsection (a) of this section…and any refusal to do so shall not create any civil claim or cause of action….

(b) The civil marriage laws shall not be construed to affect the ability of a society to determine the admission of its members as provided in section 4464 of this title, or to determine the scope of beneficiaries in accordance with section 4477 of this title, and shall not require a society that has been established and is operating for charitable and educational purposes and which is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization to provide insurance benefits to any person if to do so would violate the society’s free exercise of religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of United States or by Chapter I, Article 3 of the Constitution of the State of Vermont

Sec. 11. 9 V.S.A. § 4502 is amended to read:

§ 4502. PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS

(l) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society,shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this subsection shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. This subsection shall not be construed to limit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization from selectively providing services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to some individuals with respect to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage but not to others

Washington DC:

…to ensure that no minister of any religious society who is authorized to solemnize or celebrate marriages shall be required to solemnize or celebrate any marriage, and to ensure the protection of religious freedom with regard to the provision of services, accommodations, facilities, or goods related to the celebration or solemnization of a same-sex marriage….

(c) No priest, imam, rabbi, minister, or other official of any religious society who is authorized to solemnize or celebrate marriages shall be required to solemnize or celebrate any marriage.

(d) Each religious society has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine, teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within that particular religious society’s faith.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious society, or a nonprofit organization that is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, or goods for a purpose related to the solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage, or the promotion of same-sex marriage through religious programs, counseling, courses, or retreats, that is in violation of the religious society’s beliefs. A refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities, or goods in accordance with this subsection shall not create any civil claim or cause of action, or result in a District action to penalize or withhold benefits from the religious society or nonprofit organization that is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious society.”

Washington State:

(4) No regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam,  rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization is required to solemnize or recognize any marriage. A regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action based on a refusal to solemnize or recognize any marriage under this section. No state agency or local government may base a decision to penalize, withhold benefits from, or refuse to contract with any religious organization on the refusal of a person associated with such religious organization to solemnize or recognize a marriage under this section.

(5) No religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.

(6) A religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action, including a claim pursuant to chapter 49.60 RCW, based on its refusal to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.

(7) For purposes of this section:

(a) "Recognize" means to provide religious-based services that:

(i) Are delivered by a religious organization, or by an individual who is managed, supervised, or directed by a religious organization; and

(ii) Are designed for married couples or couples engaged to marry and are directly related to solemnizing, celebrating, strengthening, or promoting a marriage, such as religious counseling programs, courses, retreats, and workshops; and

(b) "Religious organization" includes, but is not limited to, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, and other entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion.

(5) No state agency or local government may base a decision to penalize, withhold benefits from, license, or refuse to contract with any religious organization based on the opposition to or refusal to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, service, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.

(6) No religiously affiliated educational institution shall be required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, service, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage, including a use of any campus chapel or church. A religiously affiliated educational institution shall be immune from a civil claim or cause of action, including a claim pursuant to chapter 2 49.60 RCW, based on its refusal to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, service, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage under this subsection shall be immune for civil claim or cause of action, including a claim pursuant to chapter 6 49.60 RCW.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. "Religious organization" as defined in this chapter must be interpreted liberally to include faith-based social service organizations involved in social services directed at the larger community.

---30---

Related: Gay Marriage Bill Violates First Amendment

Erik Abe: Shame on Hawaii ACLU

Rep Marcus Oshiro: People of faith need equal protection and freedom, too

Star-Adv Aug 27: "Don't overreach on church exemptions"

Thirteen States and Washington DC have enacted gay marriage:

  • Four by Court Decision
    California* (June 28, 2013), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Iowa (Apr. 24, 2009), Massachusetts (May 17, 2004)
  • Six by State Legislature
    Delaware (July 1, 2013), Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013), New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), New York (July 24, 2011), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009)
  • Three by Popular Vote
    Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012)
  • Washington, DC legalized same-sex marriage by Council action on Mar. 10, 2012.
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Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Concerned Women For America Hawaii

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

Danny DeGracia Blog

December 7 Battlefields at risk

DefendOurKeiki.com

DVids Hawaii

Education Institute of Hawaii

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

Global Warming "Scientists" Email Files #1

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God, Freedom, America

GoGoGMO!

Grassroot Blog

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hadassah Hawaii

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Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

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Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

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Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

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HawaiiReporter.com

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Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

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Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Tropical Fish Association

Hawaii Votes

Hepsy's Kuleana

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIRA

Hiram Fong Papers

History Education Hawaii

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Alliance

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Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Aloha Molokai

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Israel Day Hawaii

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kahua Group

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

KeyWiki

Kona TEA Party

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Let's Lose LOST

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Minority Caucus YouTube

Missile Defense Advocacy

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

Native Hawaiian Grants Project

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patriot Voices Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

Perry and Price Show

Pritchett Cartoons

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

Rightly POV

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Saipan Unheard No More

Save Hanalei Ridge

Save Our Doctors Hawaii

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

Senate Minority Blog

SenatorFong.com

SGLF

SIFE BYUH

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Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

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St Damien

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State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Stop SB2424

Stop the Maui Farming Ban

Student Veterans Oahu and Kauai

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

The Verifiable Truth

The Voice of Kapolei

Tim Lussier HuffPo Hawaii

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

USO Hawaii

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Vote No 113

Waagey.org

WAPNFFS

Watchdog Hawaii

Watchdog Wire

West Maui Taxpayers Association

YAL UH Hilo


Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party