The Westboro Baptist Church has called same-sex marriage inevitable as it pleads again with a Kansas court to allow lawyers for the church to intervene in the case. Though a previous request to intervene was denied, Westboro legal counsel claims that the case has substantially changed, and that the motion should be reconsidered.
“We are now facing a totally different lawsuit; and the potential for the ‘rights’ asserted to lap over onto the churches of Kansas, including WBC, with a claim that same-sex couples have the “right” to get the official sanction of the religious pillar of society (to be totally fulfilled in their desire to be treated with dignity), is not only likely,but inevitable.”
What’s the change? According to the motion (PDF) filed by the Westboro Baptist Church, they were previously denied because the court believed they had nothing substantial to add for defending the law. The court also said there was no sign that the controversial church would be affected by the outcome of the case, and if there was any sign that there would be a move to force clergy to solemnize marriages, or the Westboro Baptists would in any other way be directly affected, then it would reconsider.
The Westboro Baptist legal team says that the complainants have changed their demands already. Initially, the complainants only wanted marriage, and now they demand recognition, the motion claims. Said “recognition” is in the form of equal access to identification documents, joint tax filing, and health care benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy.
“Setting aside the fact that there is no legal basis for suggesting that access to driver’s licenses, access to health benefits, or the unfettered right to file joint instead of individual tax returns, are any fundamental rights, this filing reflects the point WBC earlier made, to wit, those who pursue the same-sex marriage agenda will never be satisfied. This First Amended Complaint will be one of many.”
Like many religious organizations, the Westboro Baptist Church expresses concern that they may eventually be forced to perform weddings for same-sex couples, despite the fact that churches are not currently forced to perform marriages for any couple they disapprove of, and churches can and do refuse marriage on the grounds of religious affiliation, previous marriage, and other belief-based points.
According to the Wichita Times, despite the overturn of Kansas’ same-sex marriage ban, many agencies continued to refuse other benefits of marriage to same-sex couples while the state appeals the decision. For this reason, the ACLU has indeed altered the lawsuit to reflect these marital privileges, asking that state agencies be required to treat all legally married couples equally and without discrimination.
There is no demand for the Westboro Baptist church, or any church or church officiant, to perform a same-sex marriage against their will.
[photo credit: StephenLukeEdD]