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Panoramic view of double rainbow at Kapalua Bay, Maui, Hawaii
Hawaii's state legislature is considering a marriage equality bill next week, which could force churches in this destination wedding hotspot to make a tough choice (tough if you don't like equality, anyway). State law prohibits churches that make a profit on ceremonies from discriminating in who can participate in those ceremonies. For some churches, that would mean conducting same-sex weddings or leaving a lot of cash on the table:
Last year, about 1.45 million Japanese tourists visited Hawaii, and a significant fraction of them came to get married or attend a wedding. The Central Union church in Honolulu, for example, conducts about fifty wedding ceremonies a month, most of them destination weddings.

Many churches in Hawaii rely heavily on the income from these wedding ceremonies to keep themselves running. Renting one of Central Union’s venues costs $1,800 (among other add-on options, a harpist is available for another $200).

Central Union isn't sure what it will do, but for churches that know they will discriminate and refuse to marry some couples, meaning they can't profit from any, all you can really say is "Boo hoo. I hope you lose a lot of money." Here's hoping Hawaii's legislature passes marriage equality and makes this choice happen.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It shocks me (25+ / 0-)

    It shocks me just how many fundamentalist Christians live in Hawaii.  My sister-in-law is one of them.

    She has a daughter she raised to be devout who is now attending a bible college in Southern California - no pants, no nail polish, no movies, no TV.

    Oh and for kicks, on weekends they go out to convert the Jews.

    Oy vey.

    When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion. - Abraham Lincoln

    by EntrWriter on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:36:09 AM PDT

  •  The sound you hear is the world's tiniest (10+ / 0-)

    violin playing for those poor wittle churches.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:41:12 AM PDT

  •  you'd expect that to end up in litigation fast. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim, gffish, lyvwyr101

    IIRC, prior rulings on non-discrimination laws that have involved churches leaned heavily on the fact that the property subject to the law was non-religious in nature.  eg, that case involving the NJ church that would rent out campgrounds.  

    •  My guess is... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ......see my reply to sfbob.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:12:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're close on NJ. (5+ / 0-)

      It was the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting. The facility in question was their open air pavilion on the boardwalk for which they had received either a coastal variance or tax subsidy (I forget which) from the state in exchange for agreeing to make it available to everyone. They refused to rent it to a lesbian couple for their commitment ceremony.

      Yes, it was a religious camp, but the facility was not their chapel or dining hall.

      And they lost big time.

      (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

      by homogenius on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 11:03:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A very odd law (5+ / 0-)
    State law prohibits churches that make a profit on ceremonies from discriminating in who can participate in those ceremonies.
    While I can see the point of it I cannot imagine why no church hasn't challenged it already as a manifest violation of the Establishment Clause.
    •  My guess... (10+ / 0-) that the law applies to all organizations, religious or secular, that make a profit on weddings. So the question is whether a church can get a special exemption on for-profit activities.

      I suspect if a church conducts non-profit weddings as part of its religious life, then it can refuse to marry anyone whose union doesn't fit the church's dogma.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:10:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on how it is defined. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, phillies

        As I said in my comment, virtually every church charges for use of its church, for the time of its minister, for the time of its organist, etc., for a wedding ceremony.  

        I looked at the link and did not see any definition of how the law would apply -- does it apply to any church that charges money, or does it provide an exemption from the law for any entity, for example, that is organized as a 501(c)(3)?  

        If it provides an exemption for any 501(c)(3) religious entity, it's not problematic.  If it does not, it is definitely problematic, for the reasons I state below.  

        •  I wonder how the law would be enforced (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Would violations result in revocation of their tax-exempt status? I can't claim to be an expert, and obviously a state can't pull an organization's federal 501c3 status, but if a state revoked its tax exemption wouldn't it also be jeopardized at the federal level?

          •  No, states can and do have completely (6+ / 0-)

            different rules for tax exemptions unless they have chosen word for word conformity with the Internal Revenue Code.

            When you look at the Internal Revenue Code, carefully coordinating sections 501 and 170, you will note that churches are special chosen entities that do not have to be in the least charitable so long as they pass the inurement test. No state needs to accord them that privileged status.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:25:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're listing expenses that they charge (5+ / 0-)

          for.  If their organist charges $100, but they charge $200, they'd be making a profit.  But if they charge only the actual cost - say $100 plus $15 for the expenses of the organ itself, then they're not making a profit and wouldn't be subject to the law.

          And why shouldn't any entity that's making a profit not be subject to the same rules?  Sticking a religious belief in your system should not change anything.

          •  How is the law written? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            That's the question.  If the test is "making a profit," then a 501(c)(3) would not be subject to the law?

            And no church I know can tell you what the "pro rata share" of one use of the organ, or the use of the building, is. They don't keep their books that way.  They don't depreciate the cost of their altar, or their pews, or the vestments of the priest/minister, for example, so they can't tell you what the "pro rata share" of the use of the facility is. Even for an organist, you'd have to allocate some of the cost of the secretary for the parish who makes the arrangements to the cost of the organist, as well as the depreciation of the organ, to figure our how much "profit" you make off of a charge for the organist.    

    •  Actually, if they're making a profit, they (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, Tonedevil, Glenn45, Kevskos, Kevin88101

      should be the ones in violation of tax law.  Our little animal shelter can't be in competition with for profit entities or we'd lose our tax exempt status.  But churches?  Of course they feel they have that right.

      If they want to be a commercial business, then they should be subject to the exact same laws as every other commercial business.

    •  Not necessarily. (8+ / 0-)

      If you look at the history of church weddings, it used to be that members of a church often did not pay for the use of the church--only non-members. This was before it became such a cash cow.

      Fifty years ago my mother was a church secretary and coordinated the weddings for a large downtown church. Church members only paid a small honorarium to her, the organist, soloist, and janitor. The minister received a larger honorarium, but still modest compared to today.

      I suspect that such an arrangement would not be affected by the Hawai'i law.  But renting to non-members would invoke the nondiscrimination clause.

      I think I lot would depend on how Hawai'i has historically treated secular use of religious facilities--in other words, where they set the bar.  

      There was a famous case in CA in the early '80s where the state Board of Equalization went after the now-bankrupt Crystal Cathedral for holding ticketed secular concerts in the Cathedral and operating a for-profit business out of a couple of offices on the campus.  It resulted in the concerts and business moving off-campus and the church paying taxes on a proportionate percentage of the facility for the year (including the elevator and corridor leading to the offices).  

      Many factors could come into play.  Does the church in question only allow ceremonies conducted according to their faith and/or liturgy? Do the officiant and bride and groom have to be of their faith?  What about witnesses or members of the wedding party participating in the ceremony?  Do they require any of the above to be heterosexual, not divorced, teatotalers, or to profess not to have participated in pre-marital sex (all of which can happen in some churches).

      This will be interesting to follow.  Currently, the only instance I know of anywhere in the world where churches are required to allow same-sex ceremonies is in Sweden.  The Swedish parliament requried that church buildings in the established (tax-funded) state church be equally available to same-sex couples. Individual ministers have a conscience clause, but the church buildings are deemed to belong to the community. But this only applies to the tax-subsidized state church and not to any other church, synagogue, or faith commmunity.

      (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

      by homogenius on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 11:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Paying for weddings (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, gffish, Judge Moonbox

        I got married in the late 70s, and I think we paid $25-50 to the church we used.  (Our own church met in a house that wouldn't have worked for a wedding.)  Gorgeous building, and we were basically covering the cost of heat and a janitor, with nobody making a profit.  We had the reception at a fancy building at the college which charged a bit more.

        Churches making a profit renting their halls seems kind of strange.

      •  If a church hangs a "for rent" sign (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        on the sanctuary as it does for a banquet hall, that church is in business selling a service to the general public & has no more right excluding gays than it has excluding African-Americans from "open to the public" pancake breakfasts & bingo nights.

        "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

        by DJ Rix on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:09:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because it is a business - key words: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, Judge Moonbox
      "make a profit".
      Selling Icons or other religious trinkets, renting halls and facilities, hiring harpists and organists and officiants. There is no reason not to tax businesses and there is no reason to let businesses discriminate with respect to their clientele.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:21:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you distinguish between a (0+ / 0-)

        church and a business?  If they charge for anything they are a business?  

        You can't tell if they are "making a profit" on doing something like selling a crucifix unless you do the type of accounting that allows you to allocate overhead and other costs.  And churches generally don't keep that kind of accounting, as far as I know.  They wouldn't know if, when you figure in all of their expenses, they are "making a profit" on an activity they charge for or not.  

        And if that's the definition, you really won't have any non-business churches at all.  Most of them will do things to raise money -- even down to cake sales.  What makes them a non-profit is not that they make money on an individual transaction (like a cake sale after church on Sunday).  It's how that money is used.  If the money they raise from the cake sale, or from selling crucifixes, goes back into the church, or their Sunday school, or to charitable activities rather than into the personal pockets of owners or shareholders, it's a non-profit.  

        I'd distinguish a "business" as a for-profit entity as opposed to a not-for-profit entity.  

        •  They are required by federal law to do that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jayden, dougymi, Kevskos

          kind of accounting if they engage in financial transactions that generate Unrelated Business income, such as selling shit and renting facilities out. The business is treated separate from the church activities. Non profit status has nothing to do with it, all non profits pay UBIT when they generate unrelated business income.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 03:54:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  price vs donations (0+ / 0-)

          many museums have a recommended donation at the door,
          but don't charge admission, a church can have a recomended donation and work it that way

        •  You mean (0+ / 0-)

          non-profit don't you.  I worked for AAA and they are a not-for-profit and paid taxes, State Farm and Allstate are also not-for-profits.

          I also grew up as a Presbyterian and after coming of age and joining the congregation I saw the books as they are open to all members and they most definitely depreciated tangible goods.

          "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

          by Kevskos on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:57:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  deniability (0+ / 0-)

      Despite what churches say about the godless-secular-humanist evildoers destroying marriage, the churches have really been at the forefront.

      For instance, no laws or pressure required churches to promote divorce by no longer condeming it and making the path to remarriage trivial.  The church did this themselves.

      For instance, between 1930 and the mid 50's, the evangelical Lutheran church went from a policy of marriage as an lifelong institution in which all divorces were condemned, to a policy of divorce being unfortunate, god being forgiving, and the divorced person merely repentant prior to a second marriage.  As an aside we remember that Luther, or course, redefined marriage as an institution where a couple has lots of sex, not necessarily for the purpose of procreation, so if we want to put something on out willy to reduce the risk of children that is ok.

      This of course creates a situation where couple enter in brief church sanctioned sexual relationships.  The church profits from the marriage, the counseling, and the remarriage, just like JP Morgan profits from bad loans.  Just to be clear, this was more than a decade prior to Reagan signing the no fault divorce law in California.

      Of course the way to fix this is to simply have a culture of civil marriages and make all church marriages optional, with no legal force.  You go to the courthouse, sign some papers saying you are married, then if one wants a church wedding find one that will perform the superstitious ceremony.

      The only reason churches are making such a huge issue of marriage equality is because they think they will lose more money than they will make if homosexual couples are married in the same way as the adulterers they marry now.

    •  Profitability makes it a public accommodation. (0+ / 0-)

      The civil rights acts of the 1960s relied on the concept of "public accommodation" to justify applying anti-discrimination laws to hotels and restaurants. Churches in themselves are not public accommodations--if you want to rent St. Patrick's Cathedral, Cardinal Dolan has a right to say you're not a suitable user.

      When a church rents out its facilities so much that they become profit centers, that crosses the line to become public accommodations. At that point, the State of Hawaii has a right to insist that anti-discrimination laws be followed.

      Of course, these churches retain the right to rent their facilities AT COST, but that means they must shift their budgets in other ways.

      Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

      by Judge Moonbox on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 11:20:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I think that's weird (0+ / 0-)

      I work at a church, and we charge non-members for use of the Nave, but it's not exactly a big money-maker. Payments to the sexton, wedding coordinator, etc. are made directly to those individuals.

      I'd chalk this one up to lousy reporting. Maybe the law is aimed at wedding chapel-type businesses?

  •  Frankly, this is the kind of law that makes (9+ / 0-)

    it difficult for thoughtful religious people -- whose religious beliefs  limit marriage to man/woman marriage -- to support marriage equality laws, I think.

    As I said elsewhere, people have a constitutionally-protected right to the free exercise of their own religion, even if I think their religious views are wrong.  (Sometimes, unfortunately, progressives support all constitutional rights except that one.) If you are a supporter of marriage laws that permit same sex marriage, the only acceptable discussion with people who believe as a religious matter that same/sex marriage is wrong,is as follows:  "You certainly are entitled to your religious views, and no one is going to your church, to conduct ceremonies that violate your religious beliefs..  But you cannot impose your views on others through the civil laws, so the civil laws are going to leave it up to individuals as to THEIR beliefs as to marriage, and the civil laws will respect the beliefs of those who support same sex marriage rights in the same way as the law respects your constitutionally-protected religious views."  

    However, depending on how the laws define "makes a profit" (is charging for the use of the church and the minister's time enough?) this seems to me to tell churches to conduct marriage ceremonies that violate their religious views, or not conduct marriages.  As far as I know, virtually all churches -- in a tourist destination or not -- charge a couple who want to use the church and/or the services of the priest/minister/rabbi/etc. for their marriage. So, this is basically saying, if you as a church conduct weddings, you have to agree to conduct weddings that violate your religious beliefs.

    That is exactly the kind of thing that fundamentalist Christians or Catholics point to when they oppose same-sex marriage laws in their states.  They say, "you'll try to force priests to conduct same/sex marriage!"  The progressive response has always been, "That's silly.  We're talking about the civil laws.  Nobody is trying to force you to violate your religious beliefs or to conduct religious services that violate your views."  

    This kind of law makes that argument not so silly.  

    If this can define "for profit" churches so as to encompass only entities that do nothing but marriages for a profit and thus are not really churches, I think it's more defensible.  If it applies to any church or religious institution that charges for the use of their church or the time of the minister (i.e., all churches), I would hope that the legislature puts in an exemption that says that a church need not conduct a wedding that violates the religious views of that church.  That would be in full accord with the First Amendment.  If they  don't, I suspect it may be challenged in court.

    •  No one would be forced to do anything, except (7+ / 0-)

      that religious institutions would be under the same obligations as any other entity running a business.  They can still charge the costs associated with marriages - which could include a pro rated portion of the building costs, the preacher could charge a fee (which is generally the case - the church usually does not receive that).  But if they're running a business, why shouldn't they be subject to the same rules?

      How would this be any different than Bob Jones University not allowing blacks?  

      •  Is that what the law says? (0+ / 0-)
        But if they're running a business, why shouldn't they be subject to the same rules?
        Please define "running a business."  Do you mean running a for-profit business?  

        Does the law say a  religious institution that is a 501(c)(3) can charge for the use of its facilities, for the minister, for the others involved and not be subject to the law?


        •  The artilce says making a profit (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, lostboyjim, YucatanMan, Kevskos

          By the very nature of a non or not for profit, they would not make a profit. They would be welcome to rent their facilities at cost, but that would not be making a profit. I think you are confusing making a profit and covering costs. Nearly all churches charge for renting their spaces, they charge the costs required to cover utilities, maintenance and other costs during the time the facility is used. Also a minister fee is paid to the minister to cover his/her time, as many ministers are paid for being a minister to their flock. However as was stated above, if they are making a profit from the usage, ie charging fees above what their costs are, they would be subject to the law in question.
          I think you may also be confusing 1st Amendment protections and tax exempt status given by Congress, a state or local entity. These are not the same thing. A group or religious entity make receive tax exempt status as a whole, but any business it may run (Adventist grocery/health stores for example) are still subject to business taxes and regulatory compliance.  

          •  "Articles" are not always correct about (0+ / 0-)

            specifics of a law. I may go look it up.

            And this:

            I think you are confusing making a profit and covering costs.
            The very definition of making a profit means taking in revenue in excess of your costs.  And "costs" doesn't just mean the pay of the employee for those hours, and the charge for utilities for that time.  "Costs" also includes an allocation of your capital costs (like the cost to construct the building being used) as well as an allocation of the cost of all the stuff in that building that you are using (pews, vestments for priests, candles on an alter, flowers, statutes, etc.). Only by figuring in all those costs can you know if you made a "profit" by charging a couple, say, $300 for using your church for an hour.  
        •  "501(c)(3) " noise term, not relevant. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Kevskos

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:00:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  501(c)(3) aka "not for profit" (0+ / 0-)

            so yes, if you are talking about an entity that operates to make a profit, it is relevant.

            •  That's not what it means at all. In fact, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              churches are specifically 501(c)(3) orgs even though very few are truly non-profit and almost none are charities.

              Read all of 501(c)(3) and applicable regs compare to 501(c)(4) and its applicable regs. if you want to start to get a handle on what you think you are talking about.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 03:57:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Screw 'em (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, YucatanMan, Kevskos, gffish

      You run your church as a BUSINESS (i.e. renting it out to couples for weddings), you fall under BUSINESS rules.  Pretty simple.

      IIRC, Jesus Christ himself had something to say about churches running as businesses, but that's another issue.

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 03:59:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Second That (0+ / 0-)

      You shouldn't force churches to conduct services that run counter to their beliefs.

      What one would expect is that churches should have one set of standards for all.

      Some churches would marry any man & woman

      Some would marry a man & woman as long as the woman is not pregnant and there is no (to the church's best knowledge) evidence of pre-marital cohabitation

      Some would not marry a divorcee (if the original partner is still alive)

      And on and on and on

      I think the only fair standard that can be applied is that each church apply its standard (whatever it is) uniformly - no exceptions for the bishop's kids for example

      Forcing churches to violate their beliefs is as bad as churches forcing people outside their congregation/adherents to tow the church line

    •  Could they get around that by charging (0+ / 0-)

      solely for the cost of the wedding and then having the wedding party make a separate donation?

  •  it's okay for churches and businesses to engage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in bad business practices.

    Just like that cake shop that wouldn't sell cakes to the
    lesbian couple.

    Other shops/venues will pick up this business.

    Me, I don't care, you want to have a lesbian wedding on my white roof?  Sure. $500.  

    Sorry the view is of the river and golf course, but
    I'll take the business

  •  If it comes down to mammon or faith (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm guessing that mammon will win out. Churches that have a real problem with it might forbid their own personnel (ministers and musicians) from participating, but they'll continue to rent out their picturesque physical plants.

    Oddly enough, a lot of congregations aren't quite as wealthy as popular imagination makes them, and hosting 30 weekends of weddings can mean funding a church's annual budget.

  •  What's "profit" in this context? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52

    Non-profit organizations generally use activities to raise money to keep the organization going.

  •  Choice. Ironic, ain't it? nt (0+ / 0-)

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:08:31 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't care less (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, gffish

    I couldn't care less about bigoted, for profit "churches" which are torn between practicing their hate and complying with the (so far, hypothetical), law.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:12:29 PM PDT

  •  The law is just plain wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52

    It's one thing to argue for marriage equality as a matter of public policy. (FWIW, I've supported gay marriage for over 20 years.)  But it's another thing entirely to tell churches who they must marry, with a penalty if they don't comply.

    Religious freedom means the freedom to take the Bible at its word and believe that same-sex relations are fundamentally at odds with God's law. You and I don't have to believe that.  But we have no right to tell sincere practitioners of (fill in the faith) who DO believe that to abandon their principles or abandon their business of performing weddings.

    The Catholic Church doesn't believe in divorce, and won't perform weddings of divorced people. That's their right.  Orthodox Jewish rabbis won't perform inter-religious ceremonies, and that's also their right. And if preachers from a host of religions won't marry same-sex couples, that too is their right.  In all of these cases, it's more than a right. It's a religious duty.

    If we want people to respect OUR rights, we have to respect theirs.

    •  You missed an essential point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyK, housesella, Kevin88101

      The law is already on the books. A Catholic Church in Hawaii, if it wants to make money on weddings by renting out the facilities to non-members of the congregation (in other words, run a wedding business) can't refuse a marriage involving a previously divorced person, and so on.

      The marriage equality law would simply be adding another entry on the list of couples that Hawaii recognizes as legally able to get married that churches are already required to respect if they want to run a wedding business.

    •  They'd still be (0+ / 0-)

      permitted to hold whatever bigoted beliefs they want.  They can still choose not to marry couples they don't like.  Whatever floats, or sinks, their boat.

      They just can't profit by selling weddings to non-members if they're going to force their bigotry on their potential customers, who again, aren't members.

    •  If you want to profit and be tax-exempt (0+ / 0-)

      You can't discriminate against legally-recognized unions. Seems simple enough.

  •  The (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Peace Missile, earicicle

    law states that churches that rent their facilities to the general public, i.e., non members, cannot discriminate.  If they don't want same sex marriages they just need to not rent to the general public.  Here is a link to some facts on the law.

    "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

    by Kevskos on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:11:26 PM PDT

  •  I know conservatives like the back of my hand. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They will simply find a loophole in which to squeeze though.

    Instead of charging for a wedding, they will simply do it for a "suggested donation."

    This law isn't going to change things at all, but it will take awhile for churches to restructure and regroup. There will be a lot of chaos first, before some lawyer has a field day with this law.

    Not to say this law is wrong. It does state that businesses, even religious based ones, can't discriminate. Yet there will always be a loophole, even if it's shrinking.

  •  I don't like linking to WND, but this should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    be interesting... it's from 2005. "Why I am against pre-game prayer". Basically, it's your average conservative guy realizing that he's in a religious minority for once, when the pre-game prayer in a high school football game in Hawaii is delivered by a Buddhist priest.

    I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

    by spiritplumber on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:26:17 AM PDT

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