National Catholic Reporter

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Same-Sex Marriage & Religious Liberty

Uganda's parliament had passed a set of anti-gay bills and sent them to that country's president to become law. Among the provisions, the laws forbid any minister from performing a same-sex marriage ceremony with a jail term of seven years for those convicted of presiding at such a ceremony. So, the question asks itself: The U.S.  bishops have distinguished themselves in recent years for their defense of religious liberty and for their opposition to same-sex marriage. Would they support the religious liberty rights of, say, a Unitarian minister in Uganda, to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony? The moral of the story: It is very rare that one can isolate a religious liberty concern from the circumstances which give rise to it and that rarity suggests a profoundly prudential defense of religious liberty, not the full-blown, bumper sticker foolishness we have too often heard in recent years.

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