Keep Religion Out of Civil Marriage
March 8, 2004
We, the Board of Directors of the Atheist Community of Austin, resolve to condemn the interference of religious beliefs in the question of same-sex marriage. We are unaware of any compelling secular arguments against same-sex marriage, and in accordance with the principle of separation between church and state, no citizen may be denied any right because of the religious beliefs of others. In its recent decision affirming the right of any two consenting adults to marry, regardless of the gender (Goodridge et al. v. Dept. of Public Health et al.), the Massachusetts Supreme Court noted, "Simply put, the government creates civil marriage. In Massachusetts, civil marriage is, and since pre-Colonial days has been, precisely what its name implies: a wholly secular institution." Religious prohibitions on homosexuality are irrelevant here: Marriage is a concept of civil law, and while religious figures can be authorized by the state to perform marriages, no religious ceremony is required to validate a marriage. Whether in Massachusetts, in San Francisco, here in Texas, or elsewhere in the United States, we the Board defend that institution against any attempt to impose religious strictures on it, particularly ones that impinge on individual liberty and equal rights.
From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series returns Sunday, March 9th with Vic Cornell giving us an update on ACLU activities. The lecture starts at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon.
ACA members! It's time to renew your ACA membership. You can do so online if you log in and then click here or check your e-mail for alternate instructions. Thanks for supporting the ACA.