By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
One of the nation’s largest organizations in support of traditional marriage is urging the Connecticut General Assembly to reject a new bill that will allow same-sex marriage to be taught in schools and would remove a conscience protection clause that protects religious institutions from lawsuits demanding that they do the same.
According to a report by the Christian Newswire, Connecticut’s SB 899 would repeal an existing law prohibits the promotion of homosexuality or bisexuality in the state’s educational system, but the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is fighting back.
“Presented under the guise of conforming state statutes to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage, SB 899 would undermine existing legal protections for religious organizations and repeal statutes that help ensure that gay marriage is not taught to children in public schools,” said Brian Brown, executive director for NOM. “SB 899 sounds simple, but it makes profound changes in the law that could hurt religious groups and will result in gay marriage being actively promoted in the state’s public schools,” noted Brown.
“We strenuously object to this sneaky legislative attempt, under the guise of conforming state statutes with the Supreme Court’s ruling, to force gay marriage on young children in school. If SB 899 did not intend for gay marriage to be promoted in public schools, it would not need to repeal this section of the law. Make no mistake about it, gay marriage will be promoted in Connecticut schools if SB 899 becomes law.”
NOM also warned legislators that SB 899 poses a threat to religious institutions that are currently protected from sexual orientation discrimination claims if those claims conflict with the religious mission of the organization.
“Connecticut’s statutes protect religious organizations from legal claims by gay activists who otherwise could bring sexual orientation discrimination lawsuits against them. This is a common- sense ‘conscientious objector’ exemption for religious groups.” Brown said.
“Unfortunately, SB 899 would leave these same religious groups open to lawsuits brought by gay couples who marry. A Christian school, for example, could be liable for refusing to hire a gay man married to another man to teach their students about family life.”
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