Robert George helped found the National Organization for Marriage, but one of his projects since then was The Manhattan Declaration, a document calling on Christians to openly violate any law that conflicts with their consciences. He has now filed an amicus brief on behalf of those Christians calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, lest the Christians be forced not to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
The Declaration’s core argument is that Christians will be “ostracized and themselves targeted for discrimination,” citing primarily Catholic Charities, an organization that has time and again chosen to stop providing adoption services when their public funding is cut if they willingly discriminate against same-sex couples. In Washington, DC, Catholic Charities also cut spousal benefits for all couples rather than provide them to same-sex partners. For both cases, the brief claims Catholic Charities was “forced to close” its programs and “forced to stop providing benefits,” when in reality it simply chose to discriminate. It also cites the Massachusetts parents who objected to their kids learning that gay couples exist, though he’s also forced to note that they lost their suit.
Because of these anecdotes, George argues that the “religious liberty” must be protected:
Religious freedom is our first, most cherished liberty, and its guarantee is threatened today by the redefinition of marriage. Such redefinition in practice would bring a new orthodoxy that circumscribes the ability of the Christian faithful to put their beliefs into practice. Examples of Christians unable to live integrated lives of work, faith, and service as a result of overzealous attempts to redefine marriage are many, but a few should suffice reveal the pernicious threat that the adoption of same-sex marriage poses to religious liberty. […]
This crisis of religious liberty, documented in the most cursory of fashions above, would multiply should this Court strike down DOMA and thus effectively declare as irrational the views on marriage of the more than half million signatories of the Manhattan Declaration — not to mention the countless other Christians who share their religious convictions.
The examples provided are trite and reflect blatant attempts to either discriminate or stigmatize gays and lesbians. While it might be easier for George and the 535,037 signatories of the Declaration to carry out their faith without having to recognize the millions of same-sex families that surround them, that’s simply not the reality in which they live.