Not surprisingly, federal judge J. Michael Seabright, in Hawaii (appointed by George W. Bush) has dismissed an effort to stop civil unions by two churches who claimed that their civil rights were violated. They also suggested a tenuous link between civil unions and HRS 489, Hawaii’s law that prohibits discrimination by public accommodations. That law had been in effect for years and is unrelated to civil unions. Moreover, churches are not obligated to perform commitment ceremonies. Essentially, the judge said that the churches have sufficient immunity, lack standing and have not been sued by anyone.
However, nothing prevents Matt Barber from offering the usual idiotic, irrelevant and factually inaccurate hyperbole. According to Barber in the AFA’s OneNewsNow:
There is no exemption for religious institutions, for churches, houses
of worship from being subject to fines and to sanctions as provided in
the legislation for refusing to allow their houses of worship to be
desecrated through the use of a so-called ‘civil union’ ceremony.
That’s just plain wrong. As Judge Seabright noted, the law reads:
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any person
authorized to perform solemnizations pursuant to chapter 572 or civil
unions pursuant to this chapter to perform a solemnization of a civil
union, and no such authorized person who fails or refuses for any reason
to join persons in a civil union shall be subject to any fine or other penalty for the failure or refusal.”
- Two Christian churches file suit in federal court to stop Hawaii civil unions (slowlyboiledfrog.com)