NH Gay Marriage: the Pinnacle of Silliness

I guess if it gets the job done, it gets the job done. But as Evan Dawson of Channel 13 reports in their blog, New Hampshire’s governor accepted the new legalization of gay marriage only after an “exemption” was made, allowing churches to refuse to perform the ceremony if they believe it’s contrary to their faith.

So, this was a concern? Have there been cases of Catholic churches forced to perform brisses? Are they required to have a liquor license for the holy water((Uh, that would be “wine,” not “water.” Though I suppose they’re pretty much interchangeable for JC. . . )) in some states? Are there a lot of traditional Greek Orthodoxy ceremonies being performed – under threat of state sanction – in Jewish temples?

But its the kind of silliness which serves as a proxy for explicit homophobia, I suppose. And as I said before, if clinging to these types of surrogate arguments helps people let go of their ignorance, we should probably just let it go. Evan’s reporting suggests that perhaps adding such language – which doesn’t really change the law in any realistic way – might just push the bill in New York over the top, based on polls in California.

My concern is that adding such language is inherently dishonest and may inadvertently add new interpretative possibilities.


First Unitarian Stands with Gay Couples

Well, I’m certainly glad Sarah and I got in early! We were married by Reverend Jenn of First Unitarian a few years back, and there may not be another marriage by that church for a while.

Channel 13 is reporting that the First Unitarian Church of Rochester has decided not to sign marriage licenses for straight couples in protest against New York’s ban on gay marriage. My first reaction to this is that it’s throwing the baby out with the bath water: if you stand on the side of love, how can you refuse to honor it where you can? But their explanation makes a whole lot of sense, at least to me:

More Work to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage –

Unitarian Co-Minister Scott Taylor compares it to the discrimination seen during the Civil Rights era.

“As ministers we were basically agreeing to serve the white-only counter for the state,” he said.

So, as hard as it is to think that this great church cannot do it’s work – what I think is the most important work a church can do, fostering love – the truth is that the law in this state makes that work impossible to do completely either way.  And as the article points out, there’s very little chance that the law will change any time soon.  The Republican Senate will not pass any law legalizing gay marriage, and while its not explicitly said in the article, I have my doubts as to whether the Democrats in Albany would be willing to risk the political exposure if ever they got the majority in the Senate.  Perhaps I’m just cynical, but based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think so.