Scotland Herald: Religious Freedom Inevitably Threatened by Gay Marriage


The editorial board of the Scotland Herald honestly confronts the inevitably tension between religious freedom and redefining marriage:

When equality for one person erodes the religious freedom of another, clear moral thinking is required. 

... The proposal is that faith groups and their celebrants should not be obliged to solemnise the ceremonies but this pragmatic solution could be open to challenge under the equality laws. While same-sex marriage is not a human right, the European Court has stated that, once it is on the statute book, no institution licensed to conduct marriages can have an opt-out. This naturally leaves churches and religious groups alarmed that they or their priests could face legal action if they refused to allow same-sex ceremonies in places of worship.

... The issue has ignited a debate between gay rights supporters and the Roman Catholic Church in particular but other religious groups, including the Muslim community, also oppose the proposal and this year's General Assembly of the Church of Scotland affirmed that it understands marriage as a contract between one man and one woman. Supporters of same-sex marriage are equally passionate that the law must be changed on grounds of equality. Religious beliefs which are central to the lives of many must be protected, not least by those who support the legalising of marriage between same-sex couples in the name of liberty. We must not replace one form of discrimination with another.