The same-sex marriage question in Washington, D.C. has reached new challenges, this time more awkward ones. I am reminding you first that in the beginning of December, the City Council of D.C. passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the District. As expected, Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) signed the bill into law. It is now expected that the bill will become a law on March 3 despite U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah) formal disapproval resolution filed during the 30-day period that Congress has to act on bills passed by the Washington D.C. City Council.
Two intriguing events happened for the last two days regarding the D.C. bill. A request by same-sex opponents in the District to overturn a ruling against a referendum regarding the bill was denied for the third consecutive time by a third D.C. Superior Court Judge on the grounds that it would violate Washington D.C.’s Human Rights Act (HRA) which addresses discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The intensity of the campaign against legalizing same-sex marriage in the U.S. capital is growing in order to block the legislation from becoming a law, since this day is approaching. It went as far as Archdiocese of Washington’s (ADW) closing of its Catholic Charities, a program aimed at helping those who cannot afford basic needs for physical, mental or pecunious reasons. A right-wing website justifies the church’s reaction as a means of not violating its teachings on homosexuality. I could not find them on their website but it appears that according to these teachings, homosexuals cannot be foster parents or any parents.
The opposition is lying
However, this excuse for the abolishment of the Catholic Charities program is a pathetic lie. Nowhere in the same-sex marriage bill is it written that it requires religious entities to treat homosexual married couples the same way as heterosexual married couples.
On the contrary, Subsection (c) of the bill clearly protects the First Amendment right of the clergy of any religion to exercising its religion freely, that is, it does not require them to solemnize same-sex marriage.
The same goes with teachings on homosexuality. Subsection (d) of the bill protects the religious entities’ control over their views on same-sex marriage, again in accordance with the First Amendment.
And, last but not least, Subsection (e) was carefully written as to protect the religious entities’ freedom of refusal to provide “services, accommodations, facilities or goods” to homosexual married couples, unless the particular entity makes these services, accommodations, facilities or goods “available for purchase, rental, or use to members of the general public.” Needless to say, Archdiocese of Washington could simply choose not to make Catholic Charities available for same-sex couples, and nobody would be able to say a thing against them.
We hear lies all the time in life, regardless of whether it is about life in general, politics, the economy or anything else, and oftentimes these lies cannot be discerned from the truth because people don’t have enough time to do the necessary research and find out the truth themselves. Combined with the development of information technologies, that creates an excellent opportunity for some people to try to manipulate society’s opinion on a certain topic through distorting the truth or even lying. It reminds me how being desperate for power over the people can sometimes look so pathetic, if not tragicomic.