The Family Research Council today criticized a joint New York Times op-ed by the antigay advocate David Blankenhorn and gay libertarian Jonathan Rauch, in which both authors recommend a compromise federal civil-unions law that would preserve robust rights for religious organizations and individuals to deny recognition of such unions.
David Link of the libertarian-leaning Independent Gay Forum points out:
The compromise tests the veracity of the claim that religious believers worry civil recognition of same-sex relationships will invade their belief system through the enforcement of civil rights laws which require gays to be treated equally. The right has been able to scare up a few anecdotes about this misuse of civil rights laws: a wedding photographer forced to photograph a lesbian wedding; a same-sex couple who wanted to take advantage of a church-owned gazebo, which the church offered for use to the public; and churned them into a froth of paranoia about governmental intrusion into religion.
I’m with Jon in offering this proposal up publicly. I am happy to let the right know that we are dedicated to stopping this cascade of anecdotes. If they want additional assurance that the first amendment’ separation of church and state means what it says, I will be on the front lines to add a statutory “and we really mean it” clause.
But I don’t think anyone will take us up on this offer, since I don’t think this is really their worry. It is not the first amendment they are concerned with, it is the fourteenth. It is equality that is the problem for them. Any government recognition at all of same-sex couples is more equality than they can bear.
I think Link is correct: FRC has effectively admitted that it respects neither the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion, nor the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee that all Americans shall receive equal protection under the law.