To the editor:
In conformity with the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment, America has a history of granting exceptions to law because of a person’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
State law requires that each school day begin with students standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. We excuse Jehovah’s Witnesses from such observance because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Likewise, since World War I, whenever there is a military conscription law in place, we permit pacifists to perform alternate service to their country because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Whether or not Jehovah’s Witness hate America or pacifists have bigoted views of soldiers is beside the point. We allow such “discrimination” against our fellow-citizens because the First Amendment protects not only religious belief, but also religious practice.
Surely our Legislature can produce a law that will guard all citizen’s rights codified in the First Amendment. Courts should not have the power to deny free exercise of religion to those of us who have sincere religious beliefs about the nature of marriage.