penquin wrote:Thanks Kurt.
Welcome back. It's been a few years! Some old faces still around, some new ones.
And since there has already been a lot of confusion about what I was trying to communicate I'd like to clearly state that I'm not "anti-SSM" one bit, rather it just seems pretty obvious which way this issue is heading.
That's fine. I'm completely in favor of SSM, but I do think that the pace of change has been so fast that there are going to be some thorny legal issues that have to be worked out.
I understand that many folks honestly beleive nothing of the sort could never happen, but I'm astonished that some find the idea completely and totally unfathomable.
Back in October 2011, Nate Silver (of 538 fame) wrote a column
on how often events that experts say would "never" happen actually do happen. It turns out that people are not really good at judging the likelihood of future social/political events.
I guess rather than saying that X will happen and Y won't happen, I'd lay it out like this:
(1) It seems very likely that in most states, once SSM is adopted, local officials will be required to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples regardless of their personal beliefs.
(2) I have no idea where we'll end up on the question of whether private businesses, colleges, etc. are required to not discriminate between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. I would not be surprised if nondiscrimination laws end up requiring businesses etc. to treat same-sex couples exactly the way they treat opposite-sex couples. On the other hand, I would also not be surprised if conservatives pushed for "freedom to discriminate" laws as part of a compromise to recognize same-sex marriage. (If you look at the discourse around, say, contraception, religious groups have been focused on using "religious freedom" arguments to exempt individuals and organizations from offering contraception).
This is the approach that some prominent social conservatives like Rod Dreher seem to be moving towards -- they recognize that stopping SSM entirely is a lost cause, so they're going to focus more on carving out exceptions and exemptions and limitations and whatnot.
(3) I don't think it's likely that clergy will be required to perform same-sex marriages, or that churches will be required to offer their core facilities for SSM ceremonies. As I think I mentioned up-thread, the closest we've come to this is that a Methodist association in New Jersey lost the tax-exempt status on a boardwalk pavilion that it owned, once it began refusing to allow same-sex commitment ceremonies in the pavilion. In that case, the pavilion was supposed to be freely available for the general public. I'd say it's highly unlikely that states would use non-discrimination laws to coerce churches into recognizing SSM, but I wouldn't say it's ...