Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent expansion of same-sex marriage, religious conservatives have been fighting for their religious liberty, seeking exemptions from things such as refusing benefits and providing services for gay spouses. Although they provide a fair case, they have been finding it difficult to win as every time the issue is brought up, public attitudes against such exemptions overpower their religious inclinations. As the acceptance of same-sex unions has increased over recent years, carve-outs are more-so seen as discrimination against same-sex unions as opposed to what they’re really meant for- the protection of religious liberty. As gay advocates see it, allowing for exemptions defeats the purpose of legalizing same-sex marriage as an aid in ending discrimination against same-sex unions; on the other end of the rope, religious conservatives are left struggling to hold on to their religious freedom. So where should the line be drawn?
Although religion plays a large role in many individuals’ lives, there are definite times and places for religion; it should not be imposed upon everybody else. Instead, it should only be practiced in private. Here’s why: Religion is meant to be a form of communication between the god and the believer. It should not involve anybody else. This is why religion should not be involved in the making of laws; religion and politics cannot coexist. When religion is involved in lawmaking, it allows for the rejection and exclusion of people who do not follow any religion. In the case of this article, even though homosexuality is frowned upon in many religions, that should strictly be the business of the people involved in the religion. How is it fair that religious individuals get to have laws tailored to their personal beliefs while homosexuals do not get to have their own liberty protected? Saying that gay spouses are allowed to be denied simple things such a benefits and services is the same as saying non-religious people should be allowed to deny religious people of benefits and services. Nowadays, it seems that religious liberty is more important than all other liberties and that we must always accommodate religious people even if it means depriving others of their rights. As the article states, if there are double-standards such as these, it widely communicates that certain kinds of discrimination are more tolerable than others. This should not be the case. The University of Calgary is a prime example of non-double-standard practices. The university provides religious students with a place to pray if they need it and the Q Centre provides a safe place for individuals of the LGBT community to seek help and guidance if need be as well. They never interfere with each other and there is no discrimination taking place. This is the way it should be with lawmaking. Certain freedoms should not interfere with other freedoms at any cost. When they stand in the way of each other, political unrest is the only end result. The goal has always been to put an end to discrimination, so why stall the process now by allowing these religious conservatives to obtain a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’ when it comes to discrimination? Discrimination is discrimination and using religion as a scapegoat should not be tolerated.
- YC #349