The greatest obstacle to marriage equality is neither the Catholic Church nor any right wing Evangelical Christian organization. Rather, it is the dearth of intellectual curiosity and then critical thinking that allows one citizen to want to deny equal protection under law to another citizen because of a difference in sexual orientation.

Blaming religion is convenient but simplistic. Doing so relieves individuals of personal responsibility for their actions towards others. National Organization for Marriage, as defenders of the faith, have implied, with little subtlety, that gay people are a threat to children. I hold     and society will ultimately hold     Maggie Gallagher, Robert George and Frank Schubert personally responsible for that bigotry. But I digress.

In an email, Washington State Representative Jamie Pedersen wrote:

I believe that our state has a strong interest in not discriminating against — and harming — the families of same-sex couples based on the religious views of a small and dwindling minority.

NOM’s Thomas Peters:

.
. . I take State Rep. Jamie Pedersen of Washington to task for sending
this message to a Christian constituent of his who asked him to stop his
attacks on marriage.

Peters then explains that he is outraged that Rep. Pedersen would claim that not extending marriage to gay couples harms their families. Aside from the fact that discrimination is harm, per se, his lack of empathy is appalling. In addition to the harms done by denying marriage to loving gay couples, Peters and his ilk overlook the harm done to the children of gay couples by not allowing those couples to be legally wed. Don’t those kids deserve equal stability and security? Apparently, Peters is wed to the notion that his religion supersedes the rights of others. Peters believes his own bullshit.

Then Peters indulges in proforma self-victimization:

The attempt to call believing Christians a “small and dwindling minority” is offensive, and speaks more of his bigotry against people of faith than anything else.

Sorry Thomas but being offended by facts is intellectually dishonest. It is also another example of believing your own bullshit. Furthermore, there are many “believing” Christians (and Jews) who are proponents of marriage equality. What is offensive is the suggestion that people who don’t agree with you are sacrilegious.

In 2009, Referendum 71 (Washington civil unions) passed with comfortable margins     close to a ten point spread if memory serves me correctly. Over time, attitudes towards gay marriage have only improved. Furthermore, Washington’s largest employers (including Microsoft and Nike) have come out in full support of marriage equality early in the process. Microsoft has explained how important it is to their business.

So yes, the religious zealots are a small and dwindling minority. While they whine about religious liberty, what they really seek is the “liberty” to impose their religion on others. If your religion prohibits gay marriage then do not enter into one. If your religion provides a service for which it accepts some of my tax dollars then you don’t get to discriminate. Doing so is not religious liberty; it is religious tyranny.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.