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Gay lawmaker worries about First Amendment freedoms

13 Nov
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jo Jordan, a member of the Hawaii state senate, has become the U.S.’s first openly gay lawmaker to vote against gay marriage. Jordan looked at the effects gay marriage would have on religious liberty and balked:

I really am not happy with the exemptions. Too narrow. . .
I’m not here to protect the big churches or the little churches, I’m saying we can’t erode what’s currently out there. We don’t want to scratch at the religious protections at all, because if we don’t create a measure that’s bulletproof or as close to bulletproof as possible, then the measure will go to the courts. And they will interpret it however that may be. A judge will make assumptions and make a ruling, and that will become the law of the land. . . .

I haven’t figured out why I felt so compelled to fight for the religious exemptions, to not erode Constitutional rights. I don’t belong to any particular denomination. I don’t wear one of those hats. I take religion out of everything. My religion is the mountain, the aina and spiritual. Everybody finds their own religion somewhere. I have the same values as they do, but it’s just a little different. When I walked into this session, that rose to the surface. Why me? Why am I trying to protect your religious rights?
I’m still trying to figure out. I’ve always followed paths. I don’t find the path. The path finds me. This, obviously, is a path I’m supposed to go. You’re not supposed to question. Just ‘OK.’

Last month, Rod Dreher explained how gay marriage threatens religious liberty. That threat would be less acute if more people—even if they didn’t reach Jordan’s conclusion—at least shared her concerns.