JUN 18 2008

Same-sex Marriage in California


The actions of the two county clerks refusing to marry couples are questionable, at best. County clerks as public servants must serve the public’s interest—not their private, religious, or political interests. In their roles as public servants, the public’s interests must transcend their respective individual beliefs.

That said, acts such as theirs may be related to a problem (not related to public administration but) more subtle and fundamental. The same-sex marriage ruling may be construed as a potential assault on religious liberty. Given that neutral laws of general applicability do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the Abrahamic sacramental nature of marriage may be marginalized. In this manner, state coercion of religious institutions to conform to progressive views of marriage could emerge. The following link provides a interesting summary of the concept of marriage as a contract and as a sacrament/covenant ( see http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/webforum/052008/witte_more_than_a_mere_contract.pdf ).

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