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Threats, Persecution and Potential Prosecution Over Religious Beliefs

Businesses are closing down, ministers are being threatened and religious beliefs and freedoms are being stripped in the name of alleged equality. It's time to take a legal, logical and reasonable look at the forced compliance with gay marriage.

Thom Watson, right, and Jeff Tabaco show the rings which they exchanged during their 2009 wedding ceremony at their home in Daly City, Calif., Monday, June 10, 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. Credit: AP

It seems every day there’s another story about gay marriage. States are being forced to allow and recognize the marriages of two men or two women. The courts that are calling state laws on such unions unconstitutional are pointing to the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution as the reason why these state laws are out of line. The 14th Amendment was added to the supreme law of the land to ensure freed slaves were equally protected in our country by all laws. It has been interpreted as a protection for everyone – with which I agree.

To that end, the states wisely didn’t ban gay marriage, they simply said marriage is between one man and one woman. This simple difference is why the claims these laws violate the Constitution are dead wrong. Think about it. Do these laws address the idea of love at all? No. Do these laws address which gender those who desire to marry are attracted to or prefer to sleep with? Nope. Therefore, can any man marry any woman in those states? Yes. Any man, no matter his preferences, can marry a woman. And vice versa. But, what if he didn’t want to? Then, DON’T! Therefore, these laws DO, in fact, offer equal protections as required by the 14th Amendment. That doesn’t mean you must marry a woman if you’re a man or vice versa. But, you are certainly allowed to.

This is an opinion on the clearly written 14th Amendment and the clearly written marriage laws in some states. You might feel I’m wrong and feel gays should marry. You’re allowed. But, I understand English and find the 14th Amendment easy to understand. I also understand the clearly written laws in these states. This needs to be heard and ruled on by the Supreme Court of the United States. If they’re ruling by the letter of the law and on what’s written clearly, the state laws should be held as legal.

Having said that, it’s en vogue for state and appellate courts to deem these state laws unconstitutional. Gays are allowed to marry in a growing number of states. Forgetting the cogent argument I made above as to why there’s nothing illegal about state laws defining marriage, and allowing for the fact that gay marriage is increasingly legal, is the result what we really want America to be? Do we really want individuals in our great land to be forced into taking part in things with which they don’t religiously or morally agree? Also, if you’re gay, why on Earth would you want people like that to be forced to take part in this, your special day? You wouldn’t.

Case in point, an Oregon bakery whose owners decided not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple has been ordered to bake the cake. I believe the owners have every right to refuse to take part in a ceremony they deem a sin according to their religion. The 1st Amendment would seem to agree with me. A court ruling saying one must bake a cake in such a circumstance is a clear infringement of their ability to worship as they see fit without government persecution or prosecution. The bakery has been forced to close its store front and the owners have moved the operation into their home. The overriding question I have in cases like this, why on Earth would gays desire to have this bakery make the cake for their happy day? It’s not about the quality of the cake or that this baker does something no one else does. When I got married, had there been a bakery that made it clear they hated or didn’t want to make cakes for those of Italian heritage. I would never have considered suing them in an attempt to for them to make my cake. I would tell them, “you just lost a lot of money,” before going down the street to give my money to someone else. This is about forcing ones beliefs on others. This is about trying to force this country, which is overwhelmingly filled with people whose religious beliefs see homosexuality as a sin, to accept gay marriage as somehow normal and exactly the same as traditional marriage. No matter what the courts decide, that’s not going to happen.

Court orders, threats, fines and forcing people out of business are horrendous. But, now we’re seeing the next level of lunacy. How about this: you’re a Christian minister who performs marriages. You have chosen to only marry Christian men and women. For some reason, a gay couple are insisting you marry them as well. And when you refuse, you’re fined and threated with arrest. You heard me right, do it or go to jail! Is this the America you know and love? Why wouldn’t a gay couple want to be married by a minister who accepts their union? They would, of course. Unless they’re just activists trying to make a point by forcing their own beliefs on others.

Before you agree or disagree with me, consider this. Would it be okay to force a Jewish baker to make an, “I love Hitler” cake? Would it be okay to force a Muslim caterer to serve food at your next pig roast? Would it be okay to force a Christian baker to bake a cake which had “If You Don’t Love Satan You Should Be Killed!” written on it? Would it be okay to force a Black photographer to shoot pictures and video at the next KKK gathering? In this country, our freedom and liberties are protected FROM the government. We are allowed to disagree. We are allowed to believe in and follow whatever God or gods we’d like as long as that doesn’t cause physical or tangible harm to others. Thus, we can’t scream “Fire!!” in a crowded theater. That could cause panic and potentially injury as people run out. Remember, this is not about having the right to not serve gays. That would be wrong. Your sexual preference or orientation should never stop you from getting some food, or watching a movie, or getting a job. The reason why these rulings are wrong is because of the forced participation of business owners in a ceremony or event their religion tells them is a sin. There's a huge difference.

There is no harm in allowing the Muslim or Jewish caterers to only serve foods specific to their religions. You want different foods? Go to a business who can cater to your needs. You want someone to photograph or bake a cake for your wedding and you’re gay? There are plenty who would love to. Get one of them. You want someone to memorialize your Klan rally? I’ll bet there are some idiots out there who would jump at the chance. Stop this ridiculous pattern of forcing what you believe on me while telling me my beliefs don’t matter. Enough now.

The Joe Pags Show is heard nationally 6 days a week on great radio stations and the Blaze Radio Network on Saturdays. Connect with Pags www.facebook.com/joetalkshow, @joetalkshow or joe@joepags.com.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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