Previous posts have outlined the very bad effects of the same sex marriage legislation being considered by the Minnesota Senate today. Those posts have already pointed out that the "fig leaves" lightly pasted on the legislation - the religious exemption and the use of the term "civil marriage" - will not fix the basic problems with same sex marriage. Yet another proof of this is the history of same sex marriage in other states. A striking example is Catholic Charities of Boston, an organization which no one would describe as "conservative", and which for 100 years or more included placing children for adoption as part of its charitable work.
So how did same sex marriage affect this charity, which has never performed marriages? The effect was simple and devastating: it shut them down as an adoption agency. In 2005 the Roman Catholic Church insisted that Catholic Charities of Boston cease placing children for adoption with same sex couples (which it had done for 15 years) and follow the church's moral and religious teachings. Catholic Charities of Boston (itself a rather liberal social service agency) was caught between its church and its state. They asked the State of Massachusetts for permission to continue their work from the state in a way that did not violate their beliefs. The answer was "no". So Catholic Charities of Boston ceased the "pre-adoption" work of their agency.
This example is instructive because it shows the effect of same sex marriage legislation on a religious organization which no one would consider conservative. In fact, the (now former) director of Catholic Charities of Boston resigned for the stated reason that the Vatican's directive contradicted their single adoption criteria, the "best interest of the children". The former director, Mr. Meade, is of course entitled to his opinion, but one obvious point would be that Christianity, Western Civilization, and the vast majority of religions around the world do not and have not considered homosexuality and same sex marriage in the "best interest of the children". This is one reason why, today, liberals, leftists and radicals are consistently mocked when they claim that their program should be carried out "for the children".
So how would a religious exemption clause from performing same sex marriage in the Minnesota legislation protect similar charities in that state which do not perform marriages? The answer would be that it cannot, which would leave the more liberal agencies (many of whose names have a Christian denomination in front of "Social Services") caught between their church and their state. But for those charities and social service organizations that take the teaching of their church seriously (or are forced to do so by their sponsoring religious group), the consequences would be much more dire. Same sex marriage law combined with other laws (like fair housing accommodation) would allow those who are intolerant of traditional morality to persecute them and put them out of business. This would include the litigious, the intolerant, and those who sympathize with them in various state, county and local agencies.
The experience with same sex marriage in other states shows us that it will not be just churches and their affiliates in the crosshairs. And charities which are not affiliated with any church or religion may fare much worse. The attacks on the Boy Scouts have already shown us what happens to those groups that are not religious and insist on a simple traditional moral code that includes a belief in God and the rejection of homosexuality.
If this legislation becomes law, expect the same here.