SOGI laws, like all ideas, have consequences.
The logic of the 1992 Casey decision led to the 2015 “civil rights” case of Obergefell v. Hodge. “The 5–4 ruling requires all fifty states to perform and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities.” (Wikipedia)
By court declaration, the definition of marriage was changed in all 50 states. Marriage is available to all sexual combinations–male and female, male and male, female and female–whether those categories are derived by biology or merely by sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone who, on moral or religious grounds, might think differently must now conform their thoughts and speech to the declared ruling of Obergefell.
Christian ethicists Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George identify the implications of this decision:
Following the Obergefell decision redefining marriage throughout the nation, the people who need legal protections are those who believe that male and female are objective biological categories and that marriage unites a man and a woman.
The consequences of SOGI include the establishment of a legal precedent that seeks to bind the conscience of women and men. To act on biblical principle or human biology would be deemed bigotry. At one time, the US declared that all are created equal. Today, SOGI creates a legal privilege for a new protected class based on subjective identities rather than objective reality, on a narrative of human sexuality, rather than on facts.
Soon, this absence of any objective standard will require the courts to sanction other perversions of human sexuality including polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and human-robot activity. In fact, each of these models is already being pushed, by some groups and individuals, as a legitimate form of sexuality and marriage. Where will it stop? Without an objective moral framework, there is no reason for it to stop.
SOGI threatens totalitarianism
In today’s world, the “rights” of this new protected class of sexual orientation and sexual identity always trump First Amendment rights. In a zero-sum political culture, the only way to achieve the so-called rights of the new protected class is by denying First Amendment principles like freedom of religion, speech and conscience.
Consider, for example, these words from Chai Feldblum, an openly gay lawyer and activist, and member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
I believe granting liberty to gay people advances a compelling government interest, that such an interest cannot be adequately advanced if ‘pockets of resistance’ to a societal statement of equality are permitted to flourish, and hence that a law that permits no individual exceptions based on religious beliefs will be the least restrictive means of achieving the goal of liberty for gay people.
Feldblum’s statement reveals the totalitarian nature of her convictions. People who think differently–for example, people of religious faith—are “pockets of resistance” that cannot be permitted a dissenting opinion or voice. See Nancy Pearcey’s article “Gov’t Should Not Punish People for Disagreeing with State-Mandated Sexual Orthodoxy” for more on this.
As summarized in a “counter petition” to which we will refer below:
SOGI laws empower the government to use the force of law to silence or punish Americans who seek to exercise their God-given liberty to peacefully live and work consistent with their convictions. They also create special preference in law for categories based on morally significant choices that profoundly affect human relations and treat reasonable religious and philosophical beliefs as discriminatory.
Essentially, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience are denied to everyone. The government can now dictate what you may and may not think and speak. It is also prescribing atheism as the only religion allowed in the marketplace and public square.
An Evangelical Response
Should Christians care? Most certainly. These changes will not simply affect the church; they represent a conscientious attempt by some to roll out the postmodern endeavor to deconstruct Western Civilization, beginning with the fundamental foundation of human sexuality and the formation of families.
What are Christians to do?
Some evangelicals have called for a compromise in an effort to protect religious freedom. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) have proposed a framework called Fairness for All (FFA). Houghton College President, Shirley Mullen, who sits on both the CCCU and NAE boards, wrote in a position paper,
As Christian higher educators, we are increasingly persuaded that the most viable political strategy is for comprehensive religious freedom protections to be combined with explicit support for basic human rights for members of the LGBT community.
“Explicit support for basic human rights for members of the LGBT community” is exactly what the LGBT activists demand. Simply recognizing LGBT individuals as human beings is insufficient. A simple “live and let live” approach will not suffice. They want their sexual orientation and gender identity to be explicitly acknowledged as normal and moral by all. In other words, the FFA is an attempt at compromise between the Judeo-Christian worldview, which produces freedom within a moral framework, and the modern and postmodern worldviews, which lead to license without a moral framework, a framework in which freedom from religion replaces freedom of religion.
Three Principles of FFA
“Fairness for All” is based on three principles.
- We believe that God created human beings in his image as male or female and that sexual relations be reserved for the marriage of one man and one woman.
- We support long-standing civil rights laws and First Amendment guarantees that protect free religious exercise.
- No one should face violence, harassment, or unjust discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
While these principles are sound in themselves, it is only by violating them that a compromise could be reached. The first establishes that “sexual relations be reserved for the marriage of one man and one woman” but this is the exact opposite of what SOGI laws embrace. The second principle is a non-starter for LGBT activists, given their embrace of freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion. Of the three principles, proponents of SOGI would likely explicitly deny the first two principles while embracing the third.
As an example, there is no conceivable compromise between pro-life and pro-abortion. These two principles are derived from radically different sets of assumptions (read worldviews) about the nature of human life and what a woman carries in her womb.
Compromise is possible at the tactical level. Different kinds of pro-lifers may compromise about what tactics to use for securing consistent pro-life protections. Wilberforce’s fight to end slavery included tactical compromise, first abolishing the slave trade and then emancipating the slaves. But the principle of human dignity for all was never compromised. It could not have been comprised.
– Darrow Miller
… to be continued
 It’s not clear exactly what is meant by “We believe … that sexual relations be reserved” where one would expect “We believe … that sexual relations are to be reserved” or “should be reserved,” etc. Given the academic credentials of its authors, it’s hard to account for this grammatical ambiguity apart from an intention to soften the hard edge of grammatical integrity. It seems that compromise is more important than clarity. Here’s another example of the comprehensive effects of postmodernism.