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NH House votes down gay marriage bill because of religious liberty protection clause

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Posted

tax exemption for religion is not in the constitution. that is a special privilege. it's not infringing on freedom of religion in the least. it is giving them all the freedom in the world to do what they want, and to pick between keeping discrimination or their special privileges. they're still 100% free to practice their religion as they see fit.

to answer your question, DDII, yes, they should lose it. why shouldn't they?

No its not in the constitution. You are correct there. If they take tax exemption away for all religious groups, then I would be ok with it. But if they single out any specific religion because they will not do something that their religous beliefs forbid, then that is imo a violation of the first amendment. I can't imagine a more extreme example of a violation of the first amendment than to say that if you don't practice your religion the way we want you to, then its going to cost you a lot of money.

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Posted

do you guys like the idea of your tax money subsidizing the westborro baptist church's military funeral protests? because by not paying taxes, that's exactly what's happening. you're pulling their weight.

Do I like it? No I certainly don't. But I would be against removing that tax exemption merely because I find them disgusting.

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Posted

No its not in the constitution. If they take tax exemption away for all religious groups, then I would be ok with it. But if they single out any specific religion because they will not do something that their religous beliefs forbid, then that is imo a violation of the first amendment. I can't imagine a more extreme example of a violation of the first amendment than to say that if you don't practice your religion the way we want you to, then its going to cost you a lot of money.

they already do that for charities. in fact the salvation army tried a very similar argument as yours in trying to discriminate against gays.

i just think it should be much more difficult than it is to be tax exempt. in order to gain that status i think you should have to:

1) go to much greater lengths to prove that you truly aren't for profit. it's a joke to see these not-for-profit churches with huge-ass sound systems and big screens and coffee shops in the lobby and their pastors with ferraris.

2) illustrate exactly what good you do in the community and how much of it you do.

3) not discriminate or be a harmful presence to anyone.

i mean, being exempt from taxes has a lot of gravity behind it. that's a big deal. and when people like westborro baptist and scientology are running around making millions without paying taxes, it sticks in my craw!

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Posted

The salvation army case was a bit different. In that case, Salvation Army was administering public funds in faith based initiatives (something that I didn't really support). Thats a bit different from revoking a church's tax free status because it will not perform certain types of marriages.

Should a church lose its tax exemption because it refuses to marry one of its members to a member of another religion? If it doesn't, then it are they guilty of religion based discrimination?

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Posted

i've been basing my argument on discrimination, but honestly i don't think churches should be tax exempt at all by default. i think charities should be tax exempt. and i think all churches should start off paying taxes, and then each individual one can make their case of 'we do x y and z for the community, and here are our books to show that we don't turn a proft' to earn charity status and tax exemption. but there's no reason it should be automatic just because they are a church.

to answer your question, no i don't think a church who refuses services to any kind of demographic should be tax exempt any more than a charity who would turn away someone of the wrong religion. it's against the whole spirit of why they're tax exempt at all.

tax exemption is a special privilege given because they are supposed to be a positive presence in the community and they are supposed to help people. that's not compatible with discrimination.

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Posted

Like I said, if they remove it from all churches, then that would be ok constitutionally. But singling a church out because of certain practices = blatant violation of first amendment.

That being said, any president or congress member who proposes ending tax exemption for churchs has zero chance at getting re-elected.

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Posted

Like I said, if they remove it from all churches, then that would be ok constitutionally. But singling a church out because of certain practices = blatant violation of first amendment.

Bingo

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Posted

Like I said, if they remove it from all churches, then that would be ok constitutionally. But singling a church out because of certain practices = blatant violation of first amendment.

but the government endorsing discrimination is a violation of the fourteenth amendment, is it not? does a gay person truly have equal protection under the law if churches are allowed to discriminate against them and enjoy special benefits under the law?

the supreme court held that yes, that violates the constitution when applied to interracial marriage. why is it different for marriages of different religions or gay-level?

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Posted

I think Rodeo is on to something here. As the gay marriage debate fades into the same "no big deal" mentality that interracial marriages have, the decisions that affected that will be applied equally to gay marriages, because who is sticking what into whom is completely irrelevant when it comes to equal protection.

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