Amended Marriage Bill Passes Senate, House

Update: The bill has also passed the House, 100-44.

Lawmakers in the state Senate bowed to pressure from religious groups today and passed an amended version of SB 899 which states that religious groups do not have to provide services for same-sex marriages. CTNJ has the story.

Six Republicans voted against the bill. They were joined by Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury).

The amendment, which passed by a wide margin, is here. The crucial parts:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage and such solemnization or celebration is in violation of their religious beliefs and faith. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action, or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

The same is true of fraternal societies. Also:

Nothing in this act shall be deemed or construed to affect the manner in which a religious organization may provide adoption, foster care or social services if such religious organization does not receive state or federal funds.

The bill is currently being debated by the House.

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33 responses to “Amended Marriage Bill Passes Senate, House

  1. Pressure from religious groups or citizens of the state of Connecticut?

  2. Pressure from religious groups or citizens of the state of Connecticut?

    Did you see the number of ads by the National Organization for Marriage? There was a lot of out-of-state money involved, here, and a lot of the pressure came from the Catholic Church.

  3. Yeah, why should religious organization be forced to provide such services?

  4. Yeah, why should religious organization be forced to provide such services?

    Religious organization [sic] were never forced to provide such services. Now businesses won’t have to provide such services. On the other hand, consumers don’t have to do business with businesses that discriminate. One hopes some enterprising soul creates a list of businesses that refuse to provide services to same sex couples so we’ll know where NOT to spend our money.

  5. There was a lot of out-of-state money involved, here, and a lot of the pressure came from the Catholic Church.

    The unholy alliance of the Catholic Church and the LDS.

  6. There was a lot of out-of-state money involved, here, and a lot of the pressure came from the Catholic Church.

    Yes, out of state money was involved in the gay marriage debate.

    Why do you think an organization headquartered in Rome, Italy has any influence on the CT legislature? There’s only like 3 cardinals in the state, not too many votes… are they big campaign donors or something?

  7. Why do you think an organization headquartered in Rome, Italy has any influence on the CT legislature? There’s only like 3 cardinals in the state, not too many votes… are they big campaign donors or something?

    …Where have you been?

  8. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization.

    So if there’s a non profit organization that is not affiliated with a religious organization, this doesn’t apply? Can they just make up a religion or some sort of religious affiliation and have it apply? Or is the state of Connecticut going to have a list of approved and recognized religious organizations?

  9. Perhaps it’s late and I’m missing something but this amended bill seems to be in line with the rest of legalized gay marriage nationwide: that the state in which it is legal will recognize a same-sex marriage? The government has no place telling a church what to do and, to my knowledge, no gay marriage bill has ever tried to tell the Catholic Church what to do. Am I wrong here? If not, I don’t see what the big deal is here…

  10. The government has no place telling a church what to do and, to my knowledge, no gay marriage bill has ever tried to tell the Catholic Church what to do.

    Yet the Catholic Church can now discriminate openly.

    The hypocrisy is baffling.

  11. The hypocrisy is baffling.

    What? No effort to understand why a 2000 year old institution built upon a 5000 year old institution would disallow same-sex marriage? Somehow your short lifespan trumps that?

    Perhaps those who complain about the discrimination against gays should stop discriminating against the Church. If you want them to understand gay life, then you should understand church teaching.

    Funny how last week I attended a band performance at a Hartford venue. A promoter of the venue later remarked “we want to try to make this place more gay friendly.” The lead singer looked around and said “it doesn’t seem to be gay hostile.”

  12. So if there’s a non profit organization that is not affiliated with a religious organization, this doesn’t apply? Can they just make up a religion or some sort of religious affiliation and have it apply? Or is the state of Connecticut going to have a list of approved and recognized religious organizations?

    I can just see it now, a new department to determine which organization is allowed to discriminate. You will have to fill-out a dozen forms, take a religious test and pay a $200 fee.

  13. Religious organization [sic] were never forced to provide such services. Now businesses won’t have to provide such services. On the other hand, consumers don’t have to do business with businesses that discriminate. One hopes some enterprising soul creates a list of businesses that refuse to provide services to same sex couples so we’ll know where NOT to spend our money.

    All of this information is incorrect and not true.

    Businesses cannot discriminate. End of story.

  14. So if there’s a non profit organization that is not affiliated with a religious organization, this doesn’t apply? Can they just make up a religion or some sort of religious affiliation and have it apply? Or is the state of Connecticut going to have a list of approved and recognized religious organizations?

    There already is a list of approved and recognized religious organizations. You can’t just make up a religion for this purpose. Ask the IRS about it.

  15. Yet the Catholic Church can now discriminate openly.

    Have you ever heard of a seperation between church and state? If you’re gay and don’t like the way the Catholic church treats homosexuals, DON’T BE CATHOLIC!

    Even though I was raised Catholic and went to a Jesuit college, I have lost touch with the church in recent years. And while I’m pro-choice and have no problem with gay marriage, I would join any protest group that seeks to stop the government’s ability to oversee a church. It’s wrong and goes against the principles this country was founded upon.

  16. Have you ever heard of a seperation between church and state? If you’re gay and don’t like the way the Catholic church treats homosexuals, DON’T BE CATHOLIC!

    That’s fine — except if the church wants to sell things to the public, the equation changes.

  17. That’s fine — except if the church wants to sell things to the public, the equation changes.

    what are they selling? alms?

  18. That’s fine — except if the church wants to sell things to the public, the equation changes.

    Give it break.

    Leave everyone’s church alone.

    It’s a real bad road to go to down and never leads anywhere good.

    You can believe in whatever you want, or nothing at all and no one cares.

    But to force a group to behave in a fashion *you* like is tyrannical.

    Here’s how it works.
    If the other guys religious beliefs (or not) offend you – tough.
    On the other hand, if your’s offend him – tough.

    That’s fair and it’s a tolerance that comes with the turf in a society that enjoys freedom of religion which does not include (because it simply can’t) freedom from religion.

    Want to found your own religion?
    Knock yourself out, and if anyone gives you a hard time I’d be glad to help you in any way possible.

    But don’t try to make me *join* your church.

    The entire separation schtick was designed to keep the majority from running roughshod over others; not so a minority group could dictate others behavior.

    Many churches have a problem with the Freemasonry and won’t allow a Mason to join.

    Thus I can join a church where it’s not an issue or drop out of the oldest & largest fraternity in the history of the world (and the finest secular organization that has ever existed) or not.

    It’s not my job to attempt to legislate the behavior of churches or ill-informed members of the clergy.

    I sincerely doubt that opinions on this are any less intense than your own.

  19. Many churches have a problem with the Freemasonry and won’t allow a Mason to join.

    What happens in a house of worship is of no concern to me. But if someone wants to buy up some real estate and want to discriminate in deciding who gets to rent it, or buys a hospital to decide who gets what kinds of treatment, or wants to declare their flower shop a “religious institution” to banish certain kinds of customers, then they’re crossing a line that merits some government intervention.

    What’s interesting to me is that the religious was never concerned about Roe v Wade in the 70s — what set them off was when Carter fixed it so you couldn’t run a tax-exempt private school if you discriminated based on race.

  20. What’s interesting to me is that the religious was never concerned about Roe v Wade in the 70s — what set them off was when Carter fixed it so you couldn’t run a tax-exempt private school if you discriminated based on race.

    That should read “religious right”. Oops.

  21. But if someone wants to buy up some real estate and want to discriminate in deciding who gets to rent it

    Nope.

    For the same reason the smoking laws suck.

    If I want to ban colors and hats in my bar – that’s my right; likewise it should be regarding smoking or not. (no – I don’t have a bar)

    There’s no shortage of bars, you can seek one you like and where Scooper can wear his hat indoors.

    The notion that Gays will have a problem finding a florist is pretty funny by the way.

  22. The notion that Gays will have a problem finding a florist is pretty funny by the way.

    Of course, if a florist were to decide to no longer provide their services for Catholic customers, I’m pretty sure that they’d be subject to a lawsuit. Which (in my view) would be totally appropriate.

    BTW, I’m pretty sure I personally know the particular Catholic florist who started this goofy “won’t somebody please think of the florists” nonsense.

  23. BTW, I’m pretty sure I personally know the particular Catholic florist who started this goofy “won’t somebody please think of the florists” nonsense.

    They must be very successful if they can afford to give up business like that.

    I can’t imagine giving a hoot who a prospective customer is.

    That said; there’s plenty of businesses that don’t see me ever.
    My former barber of over 25 years bought a Toyota product for example – and I found a new barber.

  24. They must be very successful if they can afford to give up business like that.

    In the same way, Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, and segregated schools could have been worked around if black families simply moved to states that thought they were inherently equal to whites. But if you have to go way out of your way to enjoy a civil right, you can hardly consider it a civil right.

    The relative success of a business does not mitigate the government’s mandate to protect the rights of minorities — in this case, to enjoy equal access to the accommodations provided by that business.

  25. The relative success of a business does not mitigate the government’s mandate to protect the rights of minorities — in this case, to enjoy equal access to the accommodations provided by that business.

    No argument from me, unless you wanted to impose such things as doing business in a language other then English, or forcing retailer to carry products they’re not interested in selling (for whatever reason) ; or banning a business from imposing a dress code. (no shirt, etc.)

  26. Businesses cannot discriminate. End of story.

    Not by gender?.
    Not by age?
    Not by association?

    …Where have you been?

    Around, trying to spend my time more productively.
    I shall be more direct: It is disingenuous to dismissively characterize the legislative following the wishes of a significant group of CT citizens as ‘bowing to pressure from religious groups.’

  27. Accommodations of this kind are not at all unusual. Who knows, maybe someone in the legislature consulted the US Constitution, a copy of which all legislators carry around in their back pockets, and discovered that the First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion, which, unsurprisingly, is not limited solely to church services or the clergy. The Catholic laity is also Catholic and religious. Freedom of the press is not limited solely to bona fide members of the press. We do not says it’s okay to suppress the freedom of the press enjoyed by people, some of them here, who are not employed by newspapers. We do not limit freedom of speech to people who are professional gabmeisters. The freedom to practice one’s religion – that is to conform to the doctrine of a church – is a human right exercised on the outside of churches. So, we have here an accommodation that respects competing values. What’s wrong with that?

    The legislature did its job.

    Rejoice.

    By the way, we ought not to be surprised when an organization involves itself politically in matters that affect it directly. This applies to churches, unions, gay organizations and bloggers.

  28. primusinterpares

    What happens in a house of worship is of no concern to me. But if someone wants to buy up some real estate and want to discriminate in deciding who gets to rent it, or buys a hospital to decide who gets what kinds of treatment, or wants to declare their flower shop a “religious institution” to banish certain kinds of customers, then they’re crossing a line that merits some government intervention.

    Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary use words. – St. Francis of Assisi

    Exercise of religion is not just going to church, and it is not just something you believe inside. It is something you do in every moment of every day. Catholics in particular believe that faith alone does not save but that it is also in works – that faith and works are two sides of the same coin. In this respect, providing social services, building hospitals, etc ARE exercise of religion. Putting faith into action is what religion, at least Christianity, is all about. To attempt to reduce religion to something that happens in a building and in someone’s head is to completely misunderstand religion itself.

  29. the legislature did NOT do its job. It protects the churches, but no individual who belives in the religious teaching of their church.

    The legislators also seem short sighted in that so many religious charities already recieve donations from the government. It will be more difficult for these groups to recieve donations when other pro-gay marriage orgs will recieve that money. If anything, this clause should serve precedent in realizing that the government shouldn’t engage in charity from our tax dollars. Any charity.

  30. Don’t be surprised to see another lawsuit concerning the religious rights of individuals serving in public office. Just as Plan B caused similar controversy, we should realize that people become health care workers – or public servants out of a calling to do such service. And those are often teh best servants we have.

  31. Why can women get into certain bars for free but guys have to pay?

    What’s up with that desparity? I sense descrimination!

  32. Why can women get into certain bars for free but guys have to pay?

    Wow, is that not the same thing at all.

  33. Wow, is that not the same thing at all.

    Right. One is discriminating based on an innate biological condition, and the other is discriminating based on an innate biological condition.

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