Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin on Tuesday exposed flaws in the arguments of a gay marriage foe.
During a Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing on a bill which would make Maryland the seventh state to legalize gay marriage, Brian Raum of the Christian conservative group Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), testified that the measure was flawed because its religious protections did not extend to private businesses and individuals.
The bill's religious exemptions do “little for the masses of people that are business people and that run other kinds of organizations that are going to be affected by the redefinition of marriage in Maryland,” Raum testified.
In a follow up question to his testimony, Raskin, a Democrat, asked, “Do you think that hotels, motels and restaurants should have to serve gay and lesbian people who want to be customers?”
“Definitely,” Raum answered.
“But they shouldn't have to serve gay and lesbian people who are married?”
“There's a distinction between discrimination based on sexual orientation on one hand and redefining marriage on the other hand. If an organization believes they can't facilitate a ceremony which directly conflicts with their faith that is not discrimination simply based on sexual orientation,” he responded.
Raskin insisted: “[Y]ou testified that hotels, motels and restaurants should be required to serve gay individuals, but you think that we should write into the law they should not be required to serve married gay individuals?”
“No, I didn't say that,” Raum said. “I said that religious individuals should not be forced to facilitate same-sex marriage.”