I was with the AirMaria friars at the Connecticut State Judiciary Committee meeting on Monday and listened to the discussion of the various amendments proposed to S.B. 899, which will being pushed forward to implement the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling mandating same-sex marriage.
The amendments proposed were aimed at guaranteeing religious liberty in terms of preventing any religious minister from being required to solemnize same-sex marriages, in terms of securing the rights of justices of the peace to refuse to solemnized such unions on religious grounds, of preventing religious organizations from being coerced into granting use of their facilities for same-marriage ceremonies and receptions and of preventing the state from indoctrinating children into the homosexual lifestyle against their parents’ wishes. In the end, a toothless amendment was passed unanimously by the committee and subsequently the bill was approved and now will be debated and voted on in the two houses of the state legislature.
I have sat through these debates before when the question of civil unions was rammed through by the legislature. The discussions are tedious. The presumption of the predominantly liberal legislative body is that anyone who is against same-sex marriage or who believes the Christian tradition concerning the moral character of homosexual acts is a bigot and the goal apparently is to codify that in law. God bless the legislators who both voted to protect religious liberty and against letting this horrible piece of legislation out of committee.
Peter Wolfgang, Executive Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and champion of both traditional marriage and religious liberty , has organized a rally at the State House on April 7th to oppose this attack on religious liberty (listen to his March 6 testimony at the public hearing on S.B. 899):
Earlier this month thousands of concerned citizens converged at the state Capitol on just a few days notice to stop a blatantly unconstitutional attack on religious liberty. The same Committee that launched that attack has now launched another one. Whether it succeeds will depend on the willingness of state residents to put aside “business as usual” and rise up again to make their voices heard.
One week from today, Tuesday, April 7th, the Family Institute of Connecticut will hold a Rally for Religious Liberty on the north steps of the state Capitol in Hartford (overlooking Bushnell Park). The Rally will begin at 10:00 a.m. Following the Rally we will go to Room 1C of the Legislative Office Building, where FIC executive director Peter Wolfgang will discuss what is at stake and how to lobby your legislators.
After the outrageous attack on religious liberty earlier in March by means of the “bishop removal” bill (S.B. 1098) and the tremendous response from the public, including national attention on the situation in Connecticut, Senator McDonald and Representative Lawler, the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee, have enough confidence in their power to be pushing transgendered rights and assisted suicide bills, and to successfully move S.B. 899 out of the committee. Even after having been censured, they have not at all shown any fear of the electorate.
Catholics of Connecticut and rallied to the defense, when the attack on religious liberty was as blatant as it could possibly be, but S.B. 899 is just another step toward criminalizing all opposition to the homosexual agenda. This has national significance, but the front line is here in Connecticut. There are all kinds of excuses for thinking our efforts make little difference, but we can’t afford those excuses. However that may be, in the face of the consequences of doing little or nothing, such excuses are singularly unmanly.
Every time I go to the State House I am forced to note with admiration how tenacious, persistent and intense the advocates of same-sex marriage are, and how effectively they have gained control over what happens in the legislature, especially with two active homosexuals, McDonald and Lawler, as the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee. I have heard before from our side why our opponents have so much an easier time of maintaining the level of attention that they do, and while at this point that might be reasuring that we are doing all we can, but it will be no cause for a peaceful conscience when our religious liberties are gone and opposition to the culture of sodomy has been criminalized. There is far less difference between S.B. 1098 and 899 than the relative levels of response on the part of Christians would indicate. The withdrawal of S.B. 1098 is a shallow victory when compared with the ongoing threats to religious liberty. Complacence is deadly.
I would hope that the Knights of Lepanto give Peter Wolfgang and the Family Institute of Connecticut as much help as possible.