The debate over gay rights and religious freedom have turned America into a battleground. In 34 States are considering bills to protect the clergy and entrepreneurs who are against gay marriage for religious reasons. Now the opposition takes a very ugly shape.
The history of entrepreneurs dick and Betty Odegaard should serve as a warning about what can happen if the so-called laws on religious freedom will not protect believers. 3 Aug 2013 one gay couple asked for spouses to pass them to rent his gallery in Iowa to conduct same-sex weddings.
“When they arrived, dick was on the spot. That he told them the unpleasant news for them,” says Betty Odegaard, the former owner of the business.
Odegaard refused, citing their Christian belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
“I don’t want to enjoy his sins. I don’t want other people to enjoy my sins. And I don’t want to participate in the praise of other men’s sins,” says Richard Odegaard, former owner of the business.
A gay couple filed for spouses to court for discrimination, and after two years of litigation, this Christian couple who refused to celebrate same-sex marriage, paid a fine and agreed in General cease to hold the wedding in the gallery.
“To be honest, it was hard. This was the most difficult ordeal that we went through. Anyone don’t wish,” shares Betty.
They paid dearly for their decision. After months of negative coverage in the media, threats and insults and loss of income gallery “Hertz house” last year was forced to close.
“Troubles continue to haunt us, but I have no regrets. We now would have done exactly the same, because I try to do the will of God,” says Betty Odegaard.
Since last summer the Supreme court ruled in favor of the legalization of same-sex marriage in 34 States were proposed more than a hundred zakonoproektov on religious freedom to protect Christians and others from the threat of lawsuits because they oppose gay marriage for religious reasons. Take, for example, a new law just passed in Mississippi.
“Mississippi law says that if you believe that marriage is the Union of one man and one woman that sex must be only in marriage and that we are created either by man or woman… it does not say that you are obliged to believe it, but it says that if you really believe in these principles, then you are not subject to punishment. “We’re not going to penalize you if you act according to their beliefs,” says Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation .
In Louisiana and Ohio lawmakers propose measures aimed at protecting pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples. Ryan Anderson is a Heritage Foundation from Washington. He calls the unfair accusations that these laws are about freedom of religion diskriminerad of gays and lesbians: “Our basic argument: we are trying to protect pluralism, we are trying to protect diversity, we encourage tolerance,” he says.
But some of the laws were passed in hostility business representatives, activists and celebrities. The Governor of North Carolina was forced to cancel part of the disputed law on the toilets affecting transgender people, after he was criticized for some companies and others all threatened to withdraw from the state of your business.
“I think it shows what is really going on. It is a form of nepotism and cultural nepotism. Big business uses their freedom in the market to limit religious freedom to small businesses and people of faith. It is clear, however, that the negative reaction to last year’s Supreme court decision highlighted problems of religious freedom this spring. Many Americans believe that the confrontation between the fighters for gay rights and supporters of religious freedom is just beginning,” says Ryan Anderson, a representative of the Heritage Foundation.