Kentucky Same Sex Marriage, Adoption and Divorce

Yesterday, the Kentucky Senate passed from their Chamber Bill S180, which would permit discrimination in commercial and governmental activity. To read the text click on this link http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/16RS/SB180/bill.pdf to the Legislative Research Commission.

The self-expressed intent of the bill is to protect certain businesses and all agents of the government from being required to otherwise comply with a law which violates their “freedom of religion”.  The obvious subtext is that the Senate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky believes that freedom of religion for some trumps the freedom of same sex couples to adopt, marry or divorce.  This is, on so many levels, odious.

First, commercial activity is different from either governmental or religious activity.  If you offer goods or services in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you are doing so voluntarily.  If you do not want to engage in commercial activity which might jeopardize what you claim are your religious beliefs, then don’t engage in commercial activity.  Otherwise, don’t discriminate.  Treat each customer or client the same as the next.

Second, allowing government agents to deny government services because of a self-professed religious belief is the imposition of religion or religious beliefs on the citizen in need of government service.  When the government can deny you a service to which you are entitled because of a religious objection, then the government is violating your rights.

Third, one read of the bill suggests that the sponsors believe that Obergefell v. Hodges requires priests and ministers to solemnize same sex marriages.  It does not.  Plain and simple.

S180 could mean that same sex couples who want to adopt a child, need a Judge to help with a child custody issues, or want a divorce could be told by the Court or Clerk that the religious belief of a state employee means that they are out of luck.  I hope this hateful bill does not come out of the House.  I also hope that no professional will decline services to anyone based upon any version of this bill.  Surely we are all better than this.