In the state of Georgia, the Governor is looking at HB 757 which states: “to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies, perform rites, or administer sacraments in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion.” The problem is that the LGBT community thinks that this bill violates their rights. So, let me get this straight, removing the rights and freedoms from one group will ensure the rights of another?
Whenever a couple approaches a minister and tells him that they want to get married, it is not his job to say “Ok” and just perform the ceremony. The minister will usually meet with the couple for several sessions for some in-depth discussions. These discussions do two things:
- They help the couple prepare for married life
- They help the minister decide if he is going to perform the ceremony
This bill in Georgia simply states that ministers will not be forced to perform marriage ceremonies that violate their rights to freedom of religious exercise. Without a bill like that becoming a law, the next step is that ministers will be forced to perform certain marriage ceremonies. Suddenly, we find that the government is playing in our religious sandbox!
This could be a landmark decision by the governor of Georgia – to sign or not to sign. Already, the forces against the freedoms of the church have spoken. Disney is currently filming Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in Georgia, and is threatening to stop film production in the state if the law passes. The entertainment industry is calling for no more TV show or Movies to be filmed or produced in Georgia if the bill becomes a law. The NFL says that Atlanta’s chance of landing a Super Bowl could be in jeopardy over HB 757.
This bill does not condemn LGBT marriage; it only says that you can’t force a minister, who is opposed to it for religious reasons, to perform the ceremony. I think that is reasonable. I do wish that there was a bill that did condemn LGBT marriage, because homosexuality is sin (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9). However, I am grateful that a bill was put forward to protect the freedoms of the church.
Please, write a reply below to let me know what you think. If you live in Georgia, write to your governor and let him know that you are in support of protecting the freedoms of the church.