SocraticGadfly: Dreher - Prop. 8 victory 'Pyrrhic' for conservatives

November 16, 2008

Dreher - Prop. 8 victory 'Pyrrhic' for conservatives

For the second Sunday in a row, Dallas Morning News "crunchy conservative" op-ed columnist Rod Dreher devotes his space to Proposition 8 fallout.

He notes that conservatives have not won any "war," that openness to gay marriage increases the younger look in the voting spectrum, and that, with the inevitable tide marching forward (even without Gavin Newsom's attitude), not coming to terms with this could produce a religious backlash against religious conservatives:
No, pastors won't be jailed for anti-gay sermons. Nor are clergy likely to be forced to marry same-sex couples. But because marriage carries with it a vast array of legal rights and obligations, a live-and-let-live settlement is hard to imagine.

If courts place homosexuality on par with race in civil rights jurisprudence, a host of penalties against traditionalist religious organizations – including the loss of tax-exempt status – will kick in.

I disagree on his last sentence. I don't think churches are likely to lose tax-emempt status, nor likely to be sued for hiring decisions that happen within purely internal programs such as church services.

That said, could church-run day cares and schools that accept children from outside their congregations of ownership be sued over hiring practices? Possibly. Could a parochial school refuse to accept an openly gay student, or would that provoke a suit?

I don't know, and beyond that, why would a parent try to force such an issue if another private school were more tolerant.

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