Monday, July 27, 2009

The Wingnuts Howl

Apparently, the residents of Outer Wingnuttia that write for Lifesite are unhappy about the Court of Queens Bench ruling regarding Marriage Commissioner Orville Nichols.

As a public official, she said, Nichols is obliged to perform civil marriages according to the statutes in the Marriage Act, which allows same-sex "marriages." "I am sympathetic to the argument that a public official acting as government is at the same time an individual whose religious views demand respect," she wrote. "However, a public official has a far greater duty to ensure that s/he respects the law and the rule of law. A marriage commissioner is, to the public, a representative of the state. She or he is expected by the public to enforce, observe and honour the laws binding his or her actions. If a marriage commissioner cannot do that, she or he cannot hold that position."

This is pretty much what I have been saying since day one. The marriage commissioners are secular officials, not religious officials. This is an important distinction. I hate to think what some would experience if the concept of civil servant suddenly included the right to not serve someone in the public because you "disagreed" with some aspect of their life - real or perceived.

As for the Saskatechewan marriage commissioner story, it is just another of numerous confirmations that court decisions and legislative changes in favour of "equal rights" for homosexuals consistently result in denial of fundamental rights for those who oppose homosexuality (rather than homosexual persons themselves). This is dangerous stuff that cannot but lead to great harm to any society that allows it to continue.

Wait a second. Your "fundamental right" to oppose homosexuality? That's like my fundamental right to oppose religious stupidity. Religiosity is a personal right, and nobody has a right to project their beliefs onto others. Equal rights for homosexuals does not infringe upon religious freedoms - not unless there is a "right" somewhere to treat others as second class citizens based on that religion. Religious beliefs however, when enacted as public policy, do have a nasty tendency to abrogate equality rights - whether we are talking about women's equality, or GLBT rights.

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