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'Gay Rights movement is Jewish'; The same-sex marriage debate, from Peter Myers

(1) Boy Scouts of America ends ban on Gay troop leaders
(2) After Boy Scouts welcome Gays, some churches start alternative group
(3) Catholic Diocese in North Dakota severs all ties with Boy Scouts over Gay adult Troop Leaders
(4) Schulman: 'Gay Rights movement is Jewish'

(1) Boy Scouts of America ends ban on Gay troop leaders

Boy Scouts of America ends ban on gay and lesbian troop leaders

On the heels of gay marriage legalization, the organization’s new policy
allows local units to select their leaders to appease both liberal and
religious groups

Alan Yuhas in New York   @alanyuhas

Tuesday 28 July 2015 16.33 AEST Last modified on Wednesday 29 July 2015
09.26 AEST

The national governing body of the Boy Scouts of America has ended a
blanket ban on gay adult leaders while allowing church-sponsored Scout
units to maintain the exclusion because of their faith.

The new policy, aimed at easing a controversy that embroiled the Boy
Scouts for years and threatened the organization with lawsuits, takes
effect immediately. It was approved on Monday night by the BSA’s
80-member national executive board in a teleconference.

The ban pitted leaders and members of the 105-year-old organization
against each other, often fragmenting according to faith. The new policy
seeks a compromise between more liberal groups, such as the New York
City scouting group, and regions whose groups are run by staunchly
conservative faiths, such as the Mormon church.

Under the new policy, local units will be able to select their own
leaders according to their own standards, meaning church-run groups can
“choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own”,
according to a statement from organization executives.

“It is not a victory but it certainly is progress,” said Zach Wahls, an
Eagle Scout and executive director of Scouts for Equality, told the
Guardian earlier on Monday. “I think this is the most progressive
resolution we could’ve expected from the Boy Scouts.”

Wahls noted that the organization had banned gay people since 1978, and
that its decentralized structure – religious organizations charter about
70% of Boy Scout troops – means some prejudices have deep roots.

“What really has to happen is change in the sponsoring organizations,”
he said, adding that his concern was not with specific religious groups
but for full inclusion.

“I’m not worried about Mormon units not allowing gay leaders as there
aren’t a lot of openly gay Mormons anywhere,” he said. “But
discrimination sends a harmful message to gay youths and straight
youths, and it has no place in scouting.”

Scouting law says that a boy scout is cheerful, so we’ll be OKZach
Wahls, Scouts for Equality

On 13 July, the organization’s executive committee, headed by president
and former defense secretary Robert Gates, unanimously approved the
resolution, saying there had been a “sea change in the law with respect
to gay rights”.

“The BSA national policy that prohibits gay adults from serving as
leaders is no longer legally defensible,” the organization said in a
statement earlier this month. “However, the BSA’s commitment to duty to
God and the rights of religious chartered organizations to select their
leaders is unwavering.”

The vote took place only a month and a day after the US supreme court
legalized same-sex marriage throughout the US, striking down state bans
and punctuating the swift progress of gay rights with its 5-4 vote.

The board’s vote also follows only two years after a long and bitter
debate at the organization’s 2013 meeting in Texas, where 60% of some
1,400 scout leaders voted to end the ban. The organization said at the
time that it had no intentions of revisiting the issue.

But earlier this year the New York City chapter hired a gay camp
counsellor, and said it would force the issue in court if necessary to
keep the counsellor employed.

The Boy Scouts has about 2.5 million members between the ages of seven
and 21, as well as 960,000 volunteers in local units, according to the
organization. Membership has steadily declined about 4-6% each year for
several years, contributing to the internal crisis over what to do.

John Stemberger, chairman of the breakaway Christian youth outdoor
program Trail Life USA, told Reuters on Friday that lifting the ban was
an affront to Christian morals and would make it “even more challenging
for a church to integrate a [Boy Scouts] unit as part of a church’s
ministry offerings”.

But major Catholic and Mormon supporters appeared to approve of the new
policy. On its site, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting said
that the Boy Scouts did not endorse homosexuality. The committee then
wrote: “Any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth
of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”

The Mormon church meanwhile reasserted itself earlier this month, saying
in a statement that it has “always had the right to select Scout leaders
who adhere to moral and religious principles that are consistent with
our doctrines and beliefs”.

(2) After Boy Scouts welcome Gays, some churches start alternative group

By Greg Garrison |

on August 05, 2015 at 6:47 AM, updated August 05, 2015 at 10:44 AM

Trail Life USA now has 21 troops in Alabama sponsored by churches, and
554 troops nationwide. Texas has 73 troops, North Carolina has 52 and
Virginia has 33. Florida, where it started, has 31 troops.

Trail Life USA

A new scouting organization started in 2013 - after the Boy Scouts of
America changed its policy to accept openly gay scouts - has grown
quickly across the country.

Trail Life USA now has 21 troops in Alabama sponsored by churches, and
554 troops nationwide. Texas has 73 troops, North Carolina has 52 and
Virginia has 33. Florida, where it started, has 31 troops.

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced another policy change to
allow openly gay scout masters. Those who dropped out of Boy Scouts two
years ago say that's why they left.

"We knew that was coming," said Steve McGill, a former leader of Boy
Scout Troop 404, which formerly met at First Baptist Church of Pelham
and now meets at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Indian Springs.

McGill now leads a scouting troop at First Baptist of Pelham that's
affiliated with Trail Life USA. "We made our statement two years ago
when we pulled away."

Trail Life USA is an outdoors scouting organization that emphasizes
Christian principles, he said.

"The day scouting went to allowing gay youth into the organization is
basically when the leaders of Trail Life starting working," in May 2013,
McGill said. "They unveiled it in September. January (2014) is when they
opened it up for charters. It's still a work in progress."

Briarwood Presbyterian Church, which severed ties with Boy Scouts in
2013, now hosts a Trail Life troop.

Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, First Baptist Church of Pelham,
Evangel Church in Alabaster, Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville and
First Baptist Church in Sylacauga are among the sponsors of Trail Life
USA troops.

Trail Life USA is careful about not infringing on the copyrights or
patents of Boy Scouts, although they both take part in outdoors
activities such as camping, McGill said.

"We teach life lessons," McGill said. "Trail Life is a faith-based
organization. We teach outdoors skills. That's what Trail Life is about,
growing Christian boys into Christian men and teaching them outdoors
skills along the way."

Adult leaders of the group sign a statement of faith and must assert
their belief that marriage is intended to be between a man and a woman,
McGill said.

Trail Life USA was started by former Boy Scout leaders in Orlando and it
doesn't have a headquarters building, McGill said. "The main
headquarters is in every church that has a charter," McGill said.

The organization offers principles and guidelines, he said.

If youth are openly gay, they can be turned away, McGill said.

"If he mentions that he might be gay, I don't have to let him join," he
said. "They left it up to the church. If the church charters the
program, it's your program. They just give you guidelines. It's your
program, do what you think is right. We don't approve of that type
behavior. I would probably ask them to leave as nicely as I could. I
don't want that problem around my campfire."

Some of the Boy Scouts who formerly met at First Baptist Pelham went to
Troop 2 in Helena, which is sponsored by a Kiwanis Club, McGill said.

"It created a lot of hard feelings in the troop," McGill said. "The boys
and their families, they either stayed with Boy Scouts, went with Trail
Life, or quit altogether," McGill said. "There are some who were close
to making Eagle that just quit."

That includes McGill's son, who needed to complete a project to become
an Eagle Scout, he said.

Although it was a difficult transition, some pastors said they couldn't
in good conscience continue supporting the Boy Scouts.

"We had supported them for 33 years," said the Rev. Mike Shaw, former
pastor of First Baptist Church of Pelham, who made the decision to
discontinue the Boy Scout troop and affiliate with Trail Life USA.

"We didn't want to leave the boys without something to replace that,"
Shaw said.

Shaw said it was not an effort to hurt the Boy Scouts. "I don't wish
them anything but well," he said. "I was a scout myself."

The Boy Scouts of America won a U.S. Supreme Court decision more than a
decade ago that allowed them to turn away openly gay scouts because it
violated their charter, but decided to change the policy anyway, Shaw noted.

Last week's decision by the Boy Scouts to welcome openly gay scout
masters reinforced the decision to leave and find another group to
affiliate with, Shaw said.

"This does not surprise me," Shaw said. "Some big companies who were
strong financial backers of Boy Scouts wanted them to change their policy."

It goes against biblical standards, Shaw said. "It's something we
Baptists have a hard time dealing with," said Shaw, who retired but is
serving as interim pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Helena. "We
still preach what the Bible teaches. We don't hate anybody. We just
preach the truth."

Joey Kiker, a regional spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America Greater
Alabama Council, which covers 22 counties in Alabama and has its
headquarters in Birmingham, said after the Boy Scout policy change on
homosexuality that regional affiliates are required to abide by the new

"We are chartered by the Boy Scouts of America," he said. "It's a
condition of our charter that we follow the national policies. We would
encourage all churches to do what they feel is right. We appreciate the
service they've given to scouting. We hope that any churches that
discontinue scouting, before the last scout walks out the door, to think
about what they can continue to do to serve youth."

Mormons review affiliation with Boy Scouts

One of the largest church sponsors of Boy Scout troops, the Mormons,
announced it is reconsidering its backing of Boy Scouts.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement
last week after the latest change in policy by the Boy Scouts:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by
today's vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In
spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July
when members of the Church's governing councils are out of their offices
and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular
schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with
Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all
boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However,
the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines
of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy
Scouts of America.

"As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has
long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth
face where Scouting is not available. Those worldwide needs combined
with this vote by the BSA National Executive Board will be carefully
reviewed by the leaders of the Church in the weeks ahead."

(3) Catholic Diocese in North Dakota severs all ties with Boy Scouts over Gay adult Troop Leaders

By Michael W. Chapman | August 5, 2015 | 12:44 PM EDT

( – The Catholic Diocese of Bismark, North Dakota, is
“formally” severing its churches, schools, and other institutions from
the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) because of the latter’s decision to
allow openly homosexual adults and employees to work in the Boy Scouts.

The BSA’s executive committee voted to lift its century-old national
restriction on “openly gay adult leaders and employees” on July 27.  The
Catholic Diocese of Bismark, headed by Bishop David Kagan moved swiftly
to disassociate itself from the now pro-gay BSA.

“[E]ffective immediately, the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Bismarck
and each and every one of its parishes, schools and other institutions,
is formally disaffiliated with and from the Boy Scouts of America,” said
Bishop Kagan in an August 3 letter.

“If your parish sponsors a troop, your priest has been asked to inform
those persons associated with the BSA of this action and to inform the
BSA itself of this decision,” he said.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual persons are “called to
chastity” and that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”
because they violate the natural law, the teaching from Scripture, and
they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” The Church, in its
Catechism, further states that “under no circumstances” can homosexual
acts “be approved.”

“I regret my decision but, in conscience as the Chief Shepherd of the
Diocese of Bismarck, I cannot permit our Catholic institutions to accept
and participate directly or indirectly in any organization, which has
policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings
of the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Kagan.

In his Aug. 3 letter, Bishop Kagan listed several “acceptable
alternatives” to the Boy Scouts and to the Girl Scouts. These include
American Heritage Girls; the Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs; the Federation
of North American Explorers; the Columbian Squires; and Trail Life USA.

The Diocese of Bismark was established in 1909 and serves about 66,400
Catholics in 23 counties in western North Dakota. Bishop Kagan was
selected to head the  Bismark Diocese by then-Pope Benedict XVI in
October 2011.

(4) Schulman: 'Gay Rights movement is Jewish'


Schulman: 'Gay Rights movement is Jewish'

By Rehmat

Aug 11, 2013 - 3:32:39 AM

Schulman: 'Gay Rights movement is Jewish'

Posted on August 9, 2013

Professor Sarah Schulman (College of Staten Island, New York) is author
of 17 books. She is a recipient of Fulbright award and Guggenheim
Fellowship. She is an open lesbian and leaders of feminist group within
the Gay Rights movement. And to top that all – Schulman is among the
7,000 Jews, who are declared “Self-Hating Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T)”
by the Israel Hasbara Committee.

Schulman in her latest book, 'Israel/Palestine and the Queer
International' claims that gay rights movement is mainly funded by
Israel and the Jewish multi-billionaire George Soros.

Behind all her anti-Zionist exterior, Schulman shows her real Zionist
agenda in ''Israel/Palestine and the Queer International'; Palestinians
should stop military resistance against Israel and adopt a
Gandhian-style non-violent protests – and support the 'lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgenders (LGBT)' groups. She believes this will enhance
Hamas image like Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah among the western powers.

On July 15, 2013, American writer, John Friend, said at the American
Free Press: “Virtually every single homosexual rights organization is
American history has been organized and run by Jewish individual“. You
may like to visit Friend's blog here.

Canadian Jewish writer, Eric Walberg, who used to run a blog under the
pen-name Simon Jones, in an article in 2006, entitled 'Jews and gays -
birds of a feather?' {title corrected by PGM; Eric Walberg says he is
NOT Jewish}, wrote that Muslim societies are more tolerant towards gays
than the West. He claimed that Muslims don't hate gays as long as they
carry-on their activities in their own backyard. However, they do want
gays to get involved in the normal human activities; get married with
opposite gender and raise a good family. He said that Muslims don't
misuse gay communities as a political PR as Israel does. [...]


(1) Businesses fined  under anti-discrimination law for not servicing same-sex weddings
(2) Don’t Mess with Marriage booklet could breach Anti-Discrimination Act
(3) Same Sex Marriage: Who will be prosecuted?
(4) Canada: basic freedoms lost since same-sex marriage came to town
(5) UNITED STATES: "first same-sex marriage, now The Equality Act"
(6) The same-sex marriage debate and the right to religious belief

(1) Businesses fined  under anti-discrimination law for not servicing same-sex weddings

Businesses Are being fined for not servicing same-sex weddings

Professional photographers, wedding reception agencies and others are
being prosecuted for not providing their services/facilities for
same-sex weddings.

Ashers family bakery, owned by the McArthur family in Northern Ireland,
has been found guilty under anti-discrimination law for declining to
decorate a cake with a pro-same sex marriage slogan. They were fined

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes in Oregon, USA, say that
the US$135,000 fine they are facing under anti-discrimination law would
“definitely” be enough to bankrupt them and their five children. They
declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, of Lakewood Colorado, USA, was
told by a judge either to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding or
face fines under anti-discrimination law.

The parliament is the defender of free enterprise and freedom of speech.
So why would the parliament support legislation that will see bakers,
photographers, wedding planners, wedding reception venues, restaurants,
accommodation places prosecuted because these business people declined
to provide their services for same-sex weddings?

(2) Don’t Mess with Marriage booklet could breach Anti-Discrimination Act

by Cec Busby

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:14

1000s of school children have been distributed copies of a booklet –
Don't Mess With Marriage – which demeans children with same-sex parents
and encourages homophobic behaviour.

LGBTI and marriage equality advocates have warned Tasmanian Catholic
school principals and teachers that distribution of the booklet is
likely  to breach the Anti-Discrimination Act.

The booklet was launched at  The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
and presents the church's opposition to same-sex unions. Its last page
urges Catholics to lobby local MPs to oppose changes to Australia's
Marriage Act and nd urges Catholic families to stand up for the
traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. It is
being distributed at schools, churches and Catholic community group's
across the nation.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, described
the booklet as  denigrating and demeaning of same-sex relationships and
suggested it was harmful to children with same sex parents or young
people who identified as LGBT.

"The booklet likely breaches the Anti-Discrimination Act and I urge
everyone who finds it offensive and inappropriate, including teachers,
parents and students, to complain to the Anti-Discrimination
Commissioner, Robin Banks."

Croome said he has received several complaints from teachers in Catholic
schools who were horrified to learn at staff room meetings that the
booklet will be distributed.

"The Catholic Church has every right to express its views from the
pulpit but it is completely inappropriate to enlist young people as the
couriers of its prejudice."

"The booklet says to gay students in Catholic schools that their
sexuality is wrong and that their aspiration to marry is a danger to
marriage, religion and society."

"Any principal or teacher who exposes vulnerable children to such
damaging messages not only violates their duty of care, but is a danger
to students,” Croome concluded.

(3) Same Sex Marriage: Who will be prosecuted?

(4) Canada: basic freedoms lost since same-sex marriage came to town

by Terri M. Kelleher

News Weekly, August 29, 2015

Canadians have faced disciplinary action, termination of employment or
prosecution by government tribunals since same-sex marriage was
legalised in 2005 and protected attribute status was granted to sexual
orientation and gender identity in anti-discrimination laws. 1,2

Since being made legal, same-sex marriage has been treated identically
to traditional marriage in law and public life. A corollary is that
anyone who rejects the new orthodoxy must be acting on the basis of
bigotry and hostility toward gays and lesbians.

Any reasoned explanation – for example, that conjugal marriage is best
for children because it preserves their biological relationships with
their mother, father, siblings, grandparents – is dismissed as a
straightforward manifestation of hatred toward a minority sexual group.3

Such dissent is now deemed intolerable. Many of those who have persisted
in voicing their dissent have been subjected to investigations by
human-rights commissions and (in some cases) proceedings before human
rights tribunals.

Civil marriage celebrants were the first to feel the hard edge of the
new legal system. Several Canadian provinces refused to allow celebrants
a right of conscience not to preside over same-sex weddings, and
demanded their resignations.4

The Catholic Church’s Knights of Columbus were fined for refusing to
rent their facilities for post-wedding celebrations.5

Those who are poor, poorly educated, and without institutional
affiliation have been particularly easy targets – anti-discrimination
laws are not always applied evenly. Some have been ordered to pay fines,
make apologies, and undertake never to speak publicly on such matters

Targets have included:

Individuals writing letters to the editors of local newspapers;7
Ministers of small congregations of Christians;8 A Catholic bishop who
faced two complaints – both eventually withdrawn – prompted by comments
he made in a pastoral letter about marriage.9

To engage in public discussion about same-sex marriage is to court ruin,
costing money and time.

Although the Parliament of Canada did revoke the Canadian Human Rights
Commission’s statutory jurisdiction to pursue “hate speech”, in reality
similar legislation remains in place in several Canadian provinces.

Professional governing bodies – such as bar associations, teachers’
colleges, and the like – have used statutory powers to discipline
members for conduct unbecoming of the profession.10

Expressions of disagreement with the reasonableness of
institutionalising same-sex marriage are understood by these bodies to
be acts of illegal discrimination, which are matters for professional

Teachers are particularly at risk for disciplinary action. Even if they
only make public statements criticising same-sex marriage outside the
classroom, they are still deemed to create a hostile environment for gay
and lesbian students.11

Other workplaces and voluntary associations have adopted similar
policies as a result of their having internalised this new orthodoxy
that disagreement with same-sex marriage is illegal discrimination that
must not be tolerated.12

Parental rights gone

Parental rights in public education since the legalisation of same-sex
marriage have subtly but pervasively changed. Same-sex relationships
must be treated like natural marriage. Same-sex marriage and parenting
must be treated in the classroom the same as heterosexual marriage; and
this permeates all areas of the curriculum. Curriculum reforms in
jurisdictions such as British Columbia now prevent parents from
exercising their long-held veto power over contentious educational

Courts have been unsympathetic to parental objections and parental
attempts to remove their children from the public school system. Parents
are forced to accept conflicting views from home and school over
same-sex marriage, and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

Same-sex marriage/SOGI ideology has been put into the curriculum under
the guise of anti-bullying programs.14

This has proved to be a gross violation of the rights of the family. It
is nothing less than the deliberate indoctrination of children (over the
objections of their parents) into a concept of marriage that is
fundamentally hostile to what many parents understand to be in their
children’s best interests.

It teaches children that the underlying rationale of marriage is nothing
other than the satisfaction of changeable adult desires for companionship.

Religious institutions have been particularly vulnerable, despite
so-called protections. The grand bargain of the same-sex marriage lobby
was that houses of worship were supposed to exempt from same-sex
marriage law.15

This protection has proved to be very narrow. It only prevents clergy
from being coerced into performing marriage ceremonies. It does not
shield sermons or pastoral letters from the scrutiny of human-rights
commissions. It leaves congregations vulnerable to legal challenges if
they refuse to rent their auxiliary facilities to same-sex couples for
their ceremony or reception, or to any other organisation that will use
the facility to promote a view of sexuality at odds with their own.

Provincial and municipal governments can withhold benefits from
religious congregations because of their marriage doctrine. For example,
Bill 13, the same Ontario statute that compels Catholic schools to host
“gay-straight alliance” clubs (and to use that particular name), also
prohibits public schools from renting their facilities to organisations
that will not agree to a code of conduct premised on the new
orthodoxy.16 Given that many small Christian congregations rent school
auditoriums to conduct their worship services, they are vulnerable.

Media: Under the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications
Commission, any media airing content considered “discriminatory” can
have its broadcasting licence revoked. Human-rights agencies can charge
fines and restrict future programs/publications.17

Is this how they think of the children?

Children’s rights compromised: When same-sex marriage was legalised,
parenting was immediately redefined to erase the term “natural parent”
and replace it across the board with gender-neutral “legal parent” in
federal law. By legally erasing biological parenthood, the state ignores
children’s foremost right: their immutable, intrinsic yearning to know
their biological parents.18

Wedding planners, rental hall and bed-and-breakfast owners, florists,
photographers, and bakers have already seen their freedoms eroded,
conscience rights ignored, and religious freedoms trampled. In fact
anybody who owns a business may not legally permit his or her conscience
to inform business practices or decisions if those decisions are not in
line with the tribunals’ decisions and the government’s sexual
orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination laws. This means
that the state basically dictates whether and how citizens may express

Freedom to assemble and speak publicly about man-woman marriage, family,
and sexuality is now restricted.

If a person’s beliefs, values, and political opinions are different from
those of the state, they risk losing their professional licence, job, or

Canada’s imposition of same-sex marriage, gender identity and sexual
orientation laws in the cause of “sexual autonomy” has trampled freedom
of speech, association and religion and the rights of parents to educate
and raise their children as they choose.


[1] Bradly Miller, “Same-sex marriage ten years on: lessons from
Canada”, The Public Discourse, November 5, 2012. Miller is an associate
professor of law at the University of Western Ontario and a 2012-2013
Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and
Institutions at Princeton University.

[2] Dawn Stefanowicz, “A warning from Canada: same-sex marriage erodes
fundamental rights”, The Public Discourse, April 24, 2015. Dawn
Stefanowicz was raised by a gay father and is now married with children.

[3] See, for example, the comments of Justice LaForme in Halpern v.
Canada (AG), 2002 CanLII 49633 (On SC), paras. 242-43.

[4] See, for example, Saskatchewan: Marriage Commissioners Appointed
Under the Marriage Act (Re), 2011 SKCA 3.

[5] Smith and Chymyshyn v. Knights of Columbus and others, 2005 BCHRT 544.

[6] See the remedy ordered by the Alberta Human Rights tribunal (later
overturned on judicial review) in Lund v. Boissoin, 2012 ABCA 300.

[7] Kempling v. British Columbia College of Teachers, 2005 BCCA 327

[8] Lund v. Boissoin, 2012 ABCA 300.

[9]Fred Henry, Bishop of Calgary, Alberta, “Bishop Henry calls for
overhaul of human-rights commissions”; note also the experience of Fr.
Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight, who spent $20,000
defending a human rights complaint that was eventually dismissed.

[10] For example, Kempling v. British Columbia College of Teachers, 2005
BCCA 327 (CanLII).

[11] Ibid.

[12] For example, the dismissal of Ontario sportscaster Damian Goddard
by Rogers Sportsnet for tweeting his support of traditional marriage:
“Broadcaster fired after controversial tweet files human rights
complaint”, National Post, June 23, 2011.

[13]Glen Hansman, “Parents cannot ‘opt out’ of provincial curriculum:
clarifying alternative delivery”, BC Teachers’ Federation Teacher
Newsmagazine, vol. 19, no.2, October 2006.

[14]See the legislative preamble to Ontario’s Accepting Schools Act,
S.O. 2012 C.5. See also Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36,
[2002] 4 S.C.R. 710. The same fault lines are visible in S.L. v.
Commission scolaire des Chenes, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 235.

[15] Civil Marriage Act, S.C. 2005 c. 33, ss. 3 – 3.1.

[16] Accepting Schools Act, S.O. 2012 C.5.

[17]Dawn Stefanowicz, op. cit.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

(5) UNITED STATES: "first same-sex marriage, now The Equality Act"

Only weeks after the US Supreme Court legalised same- sex marriage in
June, Democratic Party law makers have proposed a bill to introduce a
new Equality Act to elevate sexual orientation and gender identity as
“protected attributes”. The Equality Act combined with same-sex marriage
would take the US down a similar path to Canada.

The Equality Act aims to place sexual orientation and gender identity
(SOGI) into the 1964 Civil Rights Act as protected attributes alongside
race, colour and national origin.20

In Australia in 2013, the federal Sex Discrimination Act was amended to
include SOGI as protected attributes. States and territories variously
cover SOGI to some extent. In those laws sexual orientation is generally
defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexuality.
Gender identity applies equally to: males who identify as female;
females who identify as male, and intersex people (i.e. people born of
indeterminate sex) who identify as male or female.21

However, some SOGI advocates are now claiming that there are 56
different forms of sexual identity.22 [...]

The law enshrines protections for man+woman marriage, because it
provides many protections to the next generation of the state’s
children/citizens – it defines the identity of children and their
inheritance rights.

The US Equality Act would:

• elevate SOGI to protected class status in all schools;

• shut down debate by treating SOGI protected attributes as topics
beyond debate;

• require all entities receiving federal funding not to consider SOGI as
a factor in their programs;

• require withdrawing any public funds from institutions that believe
that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that question
SOGI protected attributes.20

(6) The same-sex marriage debate and the right to religious belief

Paul Kelly

The Australian

July 11, 2015 12:00AM

The central issue in any Australian recognition of same-sex marriage
remains almost invisible — whether the state’s re-definition of civil
marriage will authorise an assault on churches, institutions and
individuals who retain their belief in the traditional view of marriage.

It seems to this point that none of the proposals for same-sex marriage
or related policy prescriptions are satisfactory laws for passage by the
Australian parliament. The real issue is conceptually simple — it is
whether same-sex marriage will deny conscience rights to much of the
population. The alternative is a new spirit of tolerance guaranteed by
law where same-sex marriage sits in parallel with undiminished
-religious liberty.

The omens are not good. As the years advance there has been -virtually
no debate about the real issues surrounding same-sex -marriage. The
campaign for change is strong and tactically brilliant based on the
ideological slogan “marriage equality”, one of the most effective
slogans in many decades.

The collapse of the moral authority of the churches, especially the
Catholic Church, driven above all by the child sexual abuse phenomenon
across a range of nations, has seen a depleted and often unchristian
response by the churches as they singularly fail to meet the demand of
same-sex marriage advocates.

Yet the majority media reaction to this situation — “let’s get on with
the change” — is ignorant and irresponsible. The real debate is probably
just starting. It poses an unprecedented challenge for our law-makers.
There has never been an issue like this, as the US -Supreme Court
decision made clear.

This week in The Australian and in an interview with Inquirer, Human
Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, a strong supporter of same-sex marriage,
began to confront the choice our society faces.

Wilson advanced two propositions that shatter the haze of misinformation
and emotion that surrounds this issue. First, that none of the bills on
same-sex -marriage offers anything like the essential protection of
religious freedom and individual conscience. And second, that individual
belief and religious freedom must be seen as “equally important” as the
right to same-sex -marriage.

These principles have not been accepted in the debate. Indeed, they are
largely denied and fought. This is the reason Wilson has raised them.
The politicians will protest but their protests are worthless. Only one
thing counts — the policy and legislative stand the politicians take
and, so far, the protections of religion freedom are only tokenism.

“The primary problem is that people think of religious protection just
in terms of a minister of religion solemnising a marriage,” Wilson tells
Inquirer. “But this is a superficial analysis of the issue. The question
of religious freedom has not been taken seriously. It is treated as an
afterthought. We cannot allow a situation where the law is telling
people they have to act against their conscience and beliefs. We cannot
protect the rights of one group of people by denying the rights of
another group.”

If the Australian parliament intends to create a legal regime with this
consequence then the law-makers must justify this to the -people and
explain how such -calculated intolerance leads to a better society. The
legalisation of same-sex marriage means the laws of the state and the
laws of the church will be in conflict over the meaning of the most
important institution in society. This conflict between the civil and
religious meaning of marriage will probably be untenable and marked by
litigation, attempts to use anti-discrimination law and entrenched
bitterness. But an effort ought to be made to make it tenable on the
basis of mutual tolerance.

The Amici brief to the US -Supreme Court of four distinguished legal
scholars* who support same-sex marriage offers the best statement we are
likely to see on the method of reconciliation between these competing
rights. “The proper response to the mostly avoidable conflict between
gay rights and religious liberty is to protect the liberty of both
sides,” the Amici brief argues. “Both sexual minorities and religious
minorities make essentially parallel claims on the larger society.

“Both sexual orientation and religious faith, and the conduct that
follows from each, are fundamental to human identity. Both same-sex
couples and religious organisations and believers committed to
traditional understandings of marriage, face hostile regulation that
condemns their most cherished commitments as evil.

“Legislative bargaining is critical to protecting religious liberty in
the growing number of states where religious objections to same-sex
marriage have become unpopular.”

If same-sex marriage is authorised in Australia, this is the approach
that should prevail. If Coalition MPs who support traditional marriage
were prudent they would begin preparing the legal conditions under which
freedom of conscience can exist with same-sex marriage. If pro-same-sex
marriage MPs were prudent they would do the same, as Wilson advocates,
and if they are serious and convince traditionalists then they may find
more MPs joining their ranks.

There should be no doubt, however, about the bottom line: the Australian
parliament should not legislate the right to same-sex marriage on the
altar of denying institutions and individuals the right to their conscience.

The Amici brief begins with a core proposition: the issue of religious
liberty cannot be used to deny same-sex marriage. But this leads to the
next proposition: the legalisation of same-sex marriage cannot be used
to deploy state power against religious organisation and believers. This
spirit can prevail only if churches respect same-sex couples and if
same-sex couples respect religious discretion. That requires the removal
of hate and malice from the -debate. The -essence of the moral
liberation required is put in these terms: “The gain for human liberty
will be greatly undermined if same-sex couples now force religious
dissenters to violate their conscience in the same way that those
dissenters, when they had the power to do so, forced same-sex couples to
hide in the closet.”

This raises the question about the real ideology of the same-sex
marriage campaign. Is it merely to allow gays to marry? Or is its
ultimate purpose to impose “marriage equality” across the entire
society, civil and religious. Ideologies do not normally stop at the
halfway mark. Is “marriage equality”, as designed and evolving by its
advocates, an ideology that can live with two different concepts of
marriage, civil and religious? The Amici brief makes clear that limiting
religious exemptions to just pastors performing wedding ceremonies is
completely inadequate. There is a wide range of other issues to be
considered. Must religious colleges provide married housing to same-sex
couples? Must churches and synagogues employ spouses in same-sex
marriages even though this flouts their religious teaching? Must
religious social-service agencies place children for adoption with
same-sex couples?

Will religious institutions be penalised by losing government contracts,
tax exemptions and access to public facilities? Will religious
institutions and schools be penalised if they teach their own beliefs
about marriage, thereby contradicting the state’s view of marriage? Or
will the state laws via anti-discrimination legislation be mobilised to
force the state’s view on to religious institutions?

What of the provision of ser-vices? In much of the US a gay publicist
can refuse to provide services for an anti-gay event. That is acceptable
under the law. Can a person decline to provide services for a gay
marriage, not because the person discriminates against gays but because
they see the marriage as a religious event and therefore it defies their
religious beliefs? The Amici brief argues that it is essential to
distinguish the two relationships — protecting the right of same-sex
couples to civil marriage and protecting religious actors’ right to
uphold their view of religious marriage.

The US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges is flawed for two
reasons. First, as Chief Justice John Roberts said in dissent: “The
court is not a legislator. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea
should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power
to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

This decision is an arrogant denial of US democracy and law-making even
though it follows a US tradition of law creation by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court pre-empted the process by which state legislature
after state legislature was voting on same-sex marriage.

Justice Antonin Scalia said in dissent: “Until the courts put a stop to
it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at
its best.”

The second problem, as Australian lawyer and priest Frank Brennan
argues, is that the upshot in the US will be “years of litigation” about
the rights of religious bodies that is sure to be “nasty and hard
fought”. The reason is because a court decision will now replace
legislative decisions.

The consequence is writ large: where marriage equality is delivered by
court decision, religious liberty is not protected. Where marriage
equality in the US is delivered by the legislature there tends to be a
political bargain, with religious liberty provisions of varying extents.

The applause in this country for the US Supreme Court decision, while
understandable, is a disappointing and bad omen. It suggests the public
grasp of this issue in Australia is far distant from the debate that is

“I have accepted the inevitability that civil marriage in Australia will
be redefined to include same-sex couples,” Brennan told Inquirer. But
Brennan warned it was “another thing” to require “all persons,
regardless of their religious beliefs, to treat same-sex couples even in
the life and activities of the church as if they were married in the
eyes of the church”.

He poses a series of questions. Will religious institutions in Australia
be able to follow current policy on shared accommodation on a church
site? Will religious schools be able to limit employment to teachers who
follow church teaching on sexual relations? Will faith- based adoptive
agencies be able to prefer placement with a traditional family unit?

Brennan said these and related issues “should now be squarely on the
table”. In truth, this is long overdue. Brennan finished, however, on an
ominous note: “Some of us support the state recognition of both same-sex
marriage AND (his emphasis) religious freedom exercised in speech,
actions and institutional arrangements. Sadly, many who advocate
same-sex marriage have no time for those of us who espouse religious
freedom as well.”

Brennan’s fears are well placed given the debate in Australia in recent
times. The politicians are not serious about this issue and neither is
the media. It is reduced to a footnote of minor import yet rolled out to
justify their same-sex marriage policy.

As Wilson knows, this is not the way to proceed. It only guarantees
institutional division and rancour. The core question remains: what is
the real ideological objective of the same-sex marriage campaign?

* Brief of Douglas Laycock, Thomas C. Berg, David Blankenhorn, Marie A.
Failinger and Edward McGlynn Gaffney.

Peter Myers