Senate Bill 2 would allow court officials to refuse to marry certain couples for “any sincerely held religious objection.” Why should religious objection be validated by law compared with, for example, scientific objection?
Should employees at the Department of Natural Resources be able to refuse to do parts of their jobs – and be protected from demotion or termination, as Senate Bill 2 does – when they have sincerely held scientific objections to policies implemented by the political appointee heading the agency?
Our legislature, which refuses to acknowledge rising sea levels, would never pass such a law, though scientific objections would provide factual accountability, as opposed to SB 2.
As an attorney, I believe favoring religious objections as compared with objections on other grounds is suspect under the First Amendment. Many arguments heard in defense of SB 2 were about interracial marriage and when national law forbid racial discrimination in public accommodations, right down to biblical quotes “proving” the Creator sides with racists.
There are many people who still hold these racist antagonisms, and the language of SB 2 is not limited to same-sex marriage. The power of the state should not be used to validate or accommodate any of these exclusionary views.
Sherri Zann Rosenthal