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Uhm actually, Teetsel, you will render unto Caesar this thing called *CIVIL* marriage

by Jeremy Hooper

Eric Teetsel of the Manhattan Declaration (which is apparently still a thing; who knew?) speaking at this morning's pro-discrimination rally in Richmond,VA:

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(note: the Teitter-er of course means "unto" and "Caesar")

So be a part of God's story. No LGBT activist is trying to change the right of any married couple to religiously solemnize a marriage in whatever faith-driven way that couple sees fit. Nor are we working to deny churches of their right to choose which couples they will and will not marry, a decision they can make for just about any arbitrary reason. The marriage equality movement has always rendered those freedoms unto the faithful.

But the civil license is separated from that. While the religious ceremony is always optional, the government-granted paperwork is required of any couple that wishes to have their marriage recognized under the civil laws of our nation. The civil marriage license is an arm of the state, not of God. You don't obtain the license from Pastor Frank or Rabbi Geldoff—you get it from Jean the government worker, who really wishes you'd write a little faster so she could take her lunch break.

Anti-equality people of faith can stop getting the government-granted license if they're so anti-Caesar. I guess, theoretically, gay people couple stop paying taxes, if this country wants to turn against us. But we cannot continue this overwrought and long-held injustice in which people of a majority faith get to mandate civil freedoms for all citizens of this, a nation with a supposedly fair read on religious freedom.

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