October 15th 2011

The Marriage Amendment and the First Amendment

[Letter to Minneapolis Star Tribune]
By MarieAlena Castle

The Catholic bishops in Minnesota are planning an all-out fight to pass the amendment against same-sex marriage. Whatever happened to the First Amendment? It prohibits an establishment of religion. Putting sectarian religious beliefs into law is an establishment of religion of the most egregious kind. It not only violates the other clause that protects the free exercise of religion of other-believers, it hurts a lot of people besides.

There are only two questions to ask: 1. Does the amendment put a religious belief into law? Yes! 2. Is there a valid secular justification for doing so? No! There are only religious arguments to be made for the amendment. The “secular” arguments are just plain silly and without factual support. The amendment is a clear violation of the First Amendment. It must be defeated if our basic freedoms are to be protected from further erosion by the religious right.

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