Friday, January 19, 2007

Threat to Religious Freedom in New Hampshire

Representative Daniel C. Itse is attempting to suppress religious freedom in the state of New Hampshire with a proposed law (HB 69, oddly enough . . .) that would prohibit clergy and churches from performing religious marriages for same-sex couples. Civil marriage and religious marriage are separate institutions. Just as Roman Catholic clergy are not compelled by the state to marry couples where one or both have been divorced without an annulment, and just as rabbis are not compelled by the state to marry interfaith couples where one partner is not Jewish, so clergy (such as UU, UCC, Ethical Culture, Reform/Reconstructionist/Conservative Jewish, MCC, and Independent Sacramental, to name just a few examples) should not be prohibited from performing religious marriages, even if such a marriage is not yet recognized by the state.

This is a very dangerous bill, which I hope is swiftly defeated by the New Hampshire Judiciary Committee.

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