In Indiana, where same-sex marriage is illegal, the state criminal code apparently punishes religious leaders who conduct gay marriage ceremonies:
The law also penalizes a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer who solemnizes a marriage between two people of the same gender. Those who conduct a gay marriage ceremony can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
This has got to be unconstitutional, right? As you know, I don’t believe in same-sex marriage, and hope it remains illegal in Indiana. But for heaven’s sake, if a liberal church or synagogue wants to solemnize vows between gay couples and call it marriage, that’s their right, and the state should butt out, plain and simple. Nobody is saying the state must recognize those vows as legitimate, but if people within the religion want to do so, that’s their business.
This is a religious liberty issue — and Indiana conservatives are on the wrong side of it. If we conservatives don’t want the state telling our churches we have to marry same-sex couples, then we should stand up for the right of liberal churches to follow their own consciences within the confines of their communions. We may believe these churches are in serious error about same-sex marriage, but our own religious liberty depends on defending their right to be wrong. If we aren’t willing to stand up for them now, they won’t take seriously our future attempts to defend our own autonomy on religious liberty grounds.
[H/T: Reader CL]