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Author Topic: Gay Marriage Hypothetical  (Read 2147 times)

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Offline AndyZTopic starter

Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« on: August 05, 2012, 09:19:27 AM »
Reading through the liberal perspective common to this site can be pretty interesting.  For example, CBS talked about the Chick-Fil-A thing as if people were outraged about the CEO's voicing of his views, but it seems like the actual anger people feel is how the corporation sends money to various groups.

So I've got a question to toss out to people which requires the assumption that a law is passed that gay marriage is now perfectly legal.  Avoid as much as possible the issue that it wouldn't actually happen today.

Would a homosexual couple then be able to go up to a church that doesn't authorize homosexual marriage and demand to have a ceremony?  If the church refused, would they lose their 501c3 status?  How exactly would that work?  How does it work in the states where it's already been legalized?

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Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 09:27:31 AM »
I suppose that if this were the case some churches would begin to restrict these "services" to members only and base eligibility for membership on individuals accepting the tenets and precepts of that religion.  Those religions who have a formal instructional process for new converts ask adults to attest to their belief in the teachings of the church and to promise to uphold those teachings.  If you don't agree you don't have to join and the church doesn't have to accept you. 

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 09:28:24 AM »
Not to long ago blacks were not welcome in many white churches.

For the most part, our positions on race have evolved (some fringe groups still fight for separatism).

Why do I compare race and sexual orientation - blasphemy to some? For me it gets at the main crux of the issue. Some people think being LGB is a choice. As though run of the mill people would choose to be hated or ostracized by people.

When people accept that homosexuality is not a choice, churches that deny participation by LGB people will be seen as fringe groups.

Offline Moraline

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 09:31:10 AM »
As to 501c3 status. That's just charitable organization status. There are no stipulations on that other then how the money the organization controls is used. The status is irrelevant to the conversation.

The church is a private organization it can choose to do whatever it wants. If it was the "only" body that could grant marriages then it would be required to do so, however it is not.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 09:42:14 AM »
I actually have no issue with equating race to sexual orientation for the comparison of external response.  I equate racism and sexism all the time.  If you have a reason for making a comparison, then by all means do.

Moraline, here's the site on the explanation of the status: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161131,00.html

Going to try not to comment too much so that more people are welcome to give their opinion and perspective.

Offline Moraline

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 10:27:41 AM »

Moraline, here's the site on the explanation of the status: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161131,00.html


I read it, unless I missed something this talks about political influence and has nothing to do with whether or not an organization chooses to exercise it's power to unite a couple in wedlock.  If they were actively campaigning against or for gay-marriage then their tax status would be an issue but a simple refusal of marrying people that aren't members of their church (or not within their rules) has nothing to do with it.

Church's refuse to marry people all the time for far more mundane reasons. My parents were refused marriage by the church that they had attended because my mother was previously married and divorced. I doubt we'd see that church lose it's charitable organization status as a result of it.

If the initial post was phrased differently like "will the church lose it's charitble status as a result of campaigning against same sex marriage?" Then we'd be having a different discussion. But since the topic is
Quote
Would a homosexual couple then be able to go up to a church that doesn't authorize homosexual marriage and demand to have a ceremony?  If the church refused, would they lose their 501c3 status? 

The answer is still "no." Charitable status is not relevant to the topic.

For details on the break down of defining how they can stay within the rules see the pdf linked on the website that you posted:
Revenue Ruling 2007-41
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-07-41.pdf
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 10:30:24 AM by Moraline »

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 10:28:47 AM »
Sorry.  I'm sick today so probably not reading things right.  Not going to post on here for a while, but others are free to give their thoughts.

Offline Shjade

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 10:35:32 AM »
Would a homosexual couple then be able to go up to a church that doesn't authorize homosexual marriage and demand to have a ceremony?  If the church refused, would they lose their 501c3 status?  How exactly would that work?  How does it work in the states where it's already been legalized?

In order:

1 - Yes. Would the church be required to satisfy that demand? No. Hell, they could make that demand right now; that doesn't mean anything will come of it.

2 & 3 - No. Churches have all sorts of requirements for marriage ceremonies and can be quite discriminating. Some are more so than others. Note that this has no bearing on whether or not the couple would actually get married; ceremony is ceremony, not legality. Even if you go through a whole wedding ceremony at a church you aren't actually married until you fill out the government forms, sign the certificate with witnesses, etc. etc. The ceremony is a religious thing, not a legal one.

4 - No idea, no personal experience with that.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 11:01:08 AM »
My father had a bigger issue chaplains in the military very often perform marriages and the only issue is the license being legal, so he was wondering if a chaplain decided not to marry a gay soldier or sailor or marine to a same gender spouse woud he be in violation of his duties. He would think yes and therefore could be disciplined but they might make such elective which I would say is unfair since they are military persons and therefore follow the same chain of command as any other member of the service, save they are not considered combatants (generally).

Offline Shjade

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 11:20:14 AM »
Oooh, government-assigned marriage duty. That is a stickier situation, I'll agree. I have no experience whatsoever with military protocol, though, so no idea how any of that works.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 12:37:02 PM »
Oooh, government-assigned marriage duty. That is a stickier situation, I'll agree. I have no experience whatsoever with military protocol, though, so no idea how any of that works.

Well normally it would up to the immediate CO say on an AF Base in France a woman wants to marry a French woman, and its otherwise not an issue then it would be up to the base commander. If he says marry them and its a direct command then he or she would not have a choice my guess is the CO would find a willing chaplain to do so before ordering it.

Offline Chelemar

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 01:17:28 PM »
501c3 status is in regards to campaign contributions so would not be effected.

Bold mine.

"Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."  As long as the church doesn't fund a particular candidate or political party with church money, or support a party or candidate with direct statements from the pulpit, in publishing, etc.. they don't lose their status.  For example:  The Catholic church in your area publishing in the local paper:  St. Luke's urges all of it's members and any catholic to vote for jack Daws for dog catcher because he's a good, upstanding catholic."  That would be cause for investigation.


Like Shjade said.
Allowing someone to participate in a wedding ceremony is up to each religion.  One can't demand to be married in a church because they wish it to be so.  Most religions have requirements that must be met before two people can be married in their religion, a ceremony that is specific in the eyes of that religion but has no legal bearing.

It's the paper's registered with the court house that count.




Offline WildCat

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 03:55:12 PM »
I know we're supposed to be ignoring the question of WHETHER this could happen today.

But if we were to look into _how_ it would happen when it did... Seems to me that in most cases where gay marriage has been passed it has been passed with the explicit stipulation that churches would not be forced to perform marriages they felt should not be performed. So I suspect that is the most likely path to continue winning support.

Meanwhile, I and others likely will be working within the church towards policies of full inclusion to draw us closer to the day that point becomes moot.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 04:01:20 PM »
This article may provide some answers regarding military chaplains.

It appears that the Army does not force a chaplain to act in contravention of his faith.

The Navy Reserve Chaplain Corp. motto is:  "We Provide for Our Own, Facilitate For Others and Care for All."  I believe it is the same motto or philosophy for all branches, active and reserve.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 04:01:52 PM »
WildCat, I'll call that as fair to give such an idea.  I just didn't want to get into the thing I've had on other threads where people would say things like, "What's the point of discussing it?  That'll never happen."

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 07:40:53 PM »
This article may provide some answers regarding military chaplains.

It appears that the Army does not force a chaplain to act in contravention of his faith.

The Navy Reserve Chaplain Corp. motto is:  "We Provide for Our Own, Facilitate For Others and Care for All."  I believe it is the same motto or philosophy for all branches, active and reserve.

But there is no hard policy on this, my father had officer standing if he had a first time same sex couple marriage under his command and the chaplain service was under him he would assign the senior one to handle it as he  or she would any other marriage, since he represents the branch and should set the first example. And it would be an order to do so. If he felt morally abused he could leave the service when your in uniform your there to tend to the people in the service if one is gay and wants to marry someone its no different to him as long as its legal and military rules apply. But he always was a hard as nails by the book soldier and later officer.

If a chaplain didn't want to marry a black man to a white woman (or vice versa) due to theology would that be okay to, its the same thing.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2012, 07:57:11 PM »
It's my understanding, and I did ask this earlier today of a woman who was in the service, that no one can order a chaplain to go against his faith.  The commanding officer has as much responsibility to look after the chaplain as he or she does for anyone under their command.  The officer's job is to find a chaplain who can perform the ceremony in good conscience.

I'm hoping I'm reading you correctly Ruby. 

Offline pyrostinger

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 10:25:08 AM »
My two cents.

Sure, a homosexual couple, in this hypothetical world where same-sex marriage is legalized, can walk right up to a church that doesn't perform same-sex marriage and demand a couple.  Of course, the church can and probably should tell them that they should go somewhere else.  Churches are not the only places to hold marriage ceremonies, and gay people that go to a church that doesn't do same-sex marriages and demand to be married aren't looking to be married.  They're looking to pick a fight.  If the point of this whole gay marriage thing is about love (which it should be and I believe it is) then why would a couple deliberately go into a place where they're not welcome and demand that they be married there?

Any church that doesn't want to perform same-sex marriages shouldn't be forced to perform them.  That's they're prerogative.  Nor should they suffer any negative consequences for that, aside of maybe losing some parishioners who think differently.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2012, 11:10:01 AM »
Reading through the liberal perspective common to this site can be pretty interesting.

It's not surprising that this site would have a biased sampling of the population. It's a very niche service.

Quote
So I've got a question to toss out to people which requires the assumption that a law is passed that gay marriage is now perfectly legal.  Avoid as much as possible the issue that it wouldn't actually happen today.

Hypothetical accepted.

Quote
Would a homosexual couple then be able to go up to a church that doesn't authorize homosexual marriage and demand to have a ceremony?

Doubtful. I think it would be more likely to affect people's relationship with the state, not with the church. Of course it depends on the exact law passed, but I've never heard anyone suggest a law that requires mandatory church participation in gay marriage.

Quote
If the church refused, would they lose their 501c3 status?

I don't know what a 501c3 status is, but I'm guessing from context that it's tax-exemption? (Ah, thankyou Wikipedia for confirming that one). Again I would say doubtful, though it does depend on the specifics. Whether a church should receive tax-exemption or not is an entirely different can of worms that I won't go into here.

Quote
How does it work in the states where it's already been legalized?

Not sure. I'm Australian. We haven't legalized it anywhere here.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2012, 08:07:01 AM »
It's not surprising that this site would have a biased sampling of the population. It's a very niche service.

I wanted to clarify that I didn't mean this as a pejorative.  I haven't found a lot of places where the left and right actually talk to each other, so I like to find out both perspectives and see which sides have merit.

Apologies if this came off as offensive.

Offline Caela

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2012, 04:10:41 PM »
Reading through the liberal perspective common to this site can be pretty interesting.  For example, CBS talked about the Chick-Fil-A thing as if people were outraged about the CEO's voicing of his views, but it seems like the actual anger people feel is how the corporation sends money to various groups.

So I've got a question to toss out to people which requires the assumption that a law is passed that gay marriage is now perfectly legal.  Avoid as much as possible the issue that it wouldn't actually happen today.

Would a homosexual couple then be able to go up to a church that doesn't authorize homosexual marriage and demand to have a ceremony?  If the church refused, would they lose their 501c3 status?  How exactly would that work?  How does it work in the states where it's already been legalized?

I didn't read the rest of the thread so this might have been said already.

No.

Churches already have the right not to perform services against their religious beliefs. As an example, Catholic churches won't marry a couple where one of them has been divorced. The divorced party must go through the process of having their previous marriage annulled before the Catholic Church will marry them and if they cannot get an annulment then the Church won't marry them. Many churches also require some forms of counseling or marriage classes etc to perform a wedding in them and if you aren't willing to do those they won't marry you.

You could also think of it this way...Does the Catholic church have to perform a Jewish wedding simply because the couple likes the building and is straight? Of course not. 

Offline BCdan

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2012, 04:31:35 PM »
Here is my stance on marriage as a legal institution.  It shouldn't be. If 2 or more consenting adults want to sign a contract that is exactly like a marriage contract, then fine.  All tax benefits should be extended to single people and things like hospital visitation rights should be in the contract that people negotiate.  Having a specific set of laws that pertains to a specific contract has obviously caused countless problems and its mostly done for religious reasons instead of practical reasons.

For that matter, I think churches are within their rights to refuse anyone business for any reason but they need to be treated as any other business and not given any sort of special treatment or even acknowledged as being churches.  If they sell a service, physical or spiritual, then they shouldn't be treated different.  Though I think a lot needs to change in tax law to support all forms of business. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2012, 04:42:19 PM »
You could also think of it this way...Does the Catholic church have to perform a Jewish wedding simply because the couple likes the building and is straight? Of course not.

Quoted for emphasis.  This should be the number one talking point when dealing with people who say 'You're going to force us to perform gay marriages!'  (Besides, it's not all that hard to find gay-friendly ministers.  I'd point at the UU's and the ULC, just to start with.)

Offline Chelemar

Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2012, 08:06:27 PM »
Quote
If they sell a service, physical or spiritual, then they shouldn't be treated different.
Churches don't actually sell weddings. :)  You don't actually have to pay for the service.  It's an honorarium. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Gay Marriage Hypothetical
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2012, 08:48:10 PM »
Here is my stance on marriage as a legal institution.  It shouldn't be. If 2 or more consenting adults want to sign a contract that is exactly like a marriage contract, then fine.  All tax benefits should be extended to single people and things like hospital visitation rights should be in the contract that people negotiate.  Having a specific set of laws that pertains to a specific contract has obviously caused countless problems and its mostly done for religious reasons instead of practical reasons.

If I remember right, there have been some same-sex couples that filed incorporation papers in order to get around some of the insurance, inheritance, and visitation rights.  (Business partners are allowed to name each other as beneficiaries, etc. under some corporate law thing.)