Thursday, May 1, 2014

Family Institute of Connecticut takes credit for laws that do not exist


“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” 
 — Albert Einstein
Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC) is where Brian Brown (head of National Organization for Marriage) got his anti-gay organizational start. Brown was succeeded by Peter Wolfgang. What they have in common is their astounding lack of wit, intellectual honesty and curiosity.


In a polemic for a Focus on the Family blog, Wolfgang implies that something sinister occurred when Connecticut's supreme court effected marriage equality:

Having lost at the Capitol every year that it came up, same-sex marriage won at the state Supreme Court in 2008 by a 4-3 vote, the crucial fourth vote coming from a substitute judge after the mysterious recusal of former Chief Justice William “Taco” Sullivan of Waterbury, who refused to explain why he removed himself from the case.
But, Wolfgang takes credit for saving the day:
Thanks to the law we passed in 2009, churches and religious organizations still have liberties that no longer exist in other states with same-sex marriage.
Wolfgang (obviously not Mozart) goes on:
The Methodist beachfront pavilion in New Jersey that lost tax-exempt status and had to pay a fine for not allowing itself to be rented out for a same-sex ceremony, Catholic Charities of Boston giving up its adoption service rather than be forced by the government to place children in homes with same-sex married couples — these things have not occurred in Connecticut these last five years because of the 2009 law.
That is entirely incorrect. Language of the bill reads:
No church or qualified church-controlled organization, as defined in 26 USC 3121, shall be required to participate in a ceremony solemnizing a marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that church or qualified church-controlled organization.
26 USC 3121[3,A,i] disqualifies an organization that “offers goods, services, or facilities for sale, other than on an incidental basis, to the general public …” In other words, public accommodations remain unable to deny service. Connecticut does not have a license to discriminate statute.

Aside from the lack of intellectual curiosity marriage equality was effectively confirmed by the voters. The Roman Catholic bishops and FIC were able to get a constitutional convention question on the 2008 ballot. It failed by a margin of 2-1.

In 2009 both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly approved codifying marriage equality by statute.

On their website, FIC continues to “defend marriage.” They are calling for federal and state constitutional amendments. Neither will ever happen. Polling done in 2012 shows that 55% of Connecticut residents approve of same-sex marriage with only 33% opposed. The margin of approval has probably increased over the last two years. In 2011, 70% of respondents said that marriage between same-sex couples has had no impact on their life. The simple fact is that residents of states that have legalized same-sex marriage have come to the realization that the sky doesn't fall, comets don't strike and tsunamis don't flood. Same-sex marriage only affects those thus wed.



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