Washington State unnatural “marriage” bill will force churches to accommodate ceremonies or face penalties

In finem citius?

From LifeSite:

Washington governor signs gay ‘marriage’ bill

February 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington State has signed into law a gay “marriage” bill that will force church-owned facilities to accommodate homosexual ceremonies.

Gregoire, a lame-duck Democrat [A catholic democrat in favor of unnatural “marriage”.  I’m shocked.] governor who proposed the bill earlier this year, celebrated the end of defining marriage as between a man and a woman as she signed the bill on Monday.

“I’m proud our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal,” she said. [Canon 915 should be applied immediately.]

The bill makes Washington the sixth U.S. state to redefine marriage, in addition to the District of Columbia.

Local religious leaders have been particularly alarmed about the bill because it will force facilities owned by churches that are regularly used for marriages to be offered to homosexual couples.

The bill text originally stated that religious organizations that provide “accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage” to the public must offer all those goods for use to homosexual couples seeking marriage or else face a penalty for discrimination. The version of the bill that passed dropped the qualification, allowing religious groups to retain marriage facilities for heterosexual unions.

Prior to the change, evangelical Pastor Joseph Fuiten last month said that the bill’s “discrimination” language puts “virtually every church in Washington” under legal threat should they abide by the teachings of their faith on the nature of marriage.

The bill is expected to take effect no earlier than June.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has vowed to initiate a referendum effort to bring the new law before voters to decide on the ballot.

“NOM will not stand by and let activist politicians redefine marriage, the bedrock of civilization, without voters having a say,” said NOM president Brian Brown on Jan 23. “Just as we mounted a People’s Veto in Maine and were responsible for qualifying Proposition 8 to the ballot in California, we will make sure that voters in Washington have the ability to decide the definition of marriage for themselves.”


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Dogs and Fleas, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. rcg says:

    Does this also mean we can demand to hold Catholic Marriages in Jewish Temples or vice versa? You can’t even attend a Mormon wedding in a Temple unless you are Mormon. This seems silly.

  2. PostCatholic says:

    Could it please be explained why you and fellow conservatives use the noun “Democrat” as an adjective instead of the adjective “Democratic?” (I’m an Independent, by the way.)

  3. wmeyer says:

    At the risk of crossing threads, while the Church will survive, there is no such certainty about our society or our Republic.

    Canon 915, at the very least, should be imposed immediately.

  4. APX says:

    @ rcg
    You can’t even attend a Mormon wedding in a Temple unless you are Mormon.
    You can’t even enter a Mormon temple unless you’re a Mormon, in good standing, and have a temple recommend.

    Despite their whacked-out theology, perhaps they’re onto something here. Perhaps it’s time for…Communion Recommends…given out by priests in the Confessional after someone goes to Confession. Good for two weeks. They could do it like they do electronic gym pass swipe cards that literally work worldwide. One Altar boy holds the paten, the other the electronic card swiper at the communion rail. Communicant swipes their Communion Recommend card, priest waits for the ding/horrid rejection noise before (not) giving communion. Yes, it has some kinks to work out, but I think the time has passed for the honor system we’re going on here.

  5. flyfree432 says:

    Yes it should, but it is not, which is the elephant in the room. Why not? Your move bishops.

  6. wmeyer says:

    PostCatholic: I did not notice any instances in this article, but in essence, we use “Democrat Party” rather than “Democratic Party” because of the confusion between Democratic and democratic, which have only some commonality. The Democratic Party is a party of Democrats, but is often not democratic.

  7. Clinton R. says:

    And this is my point about Obama’s HHS mandate. If the Church in this country compromises one bit on this, then no doubt Obama will next force the Church to ‘marry’ homosexuals at Catholic parishes. The day is coming soon, that we will either capitulate to the government or we will choose to be martyred and jailed. The United States that was the land of freedom is dying. It is being hijacked by radical liberals who are seeking to destroy the last institution that stands between them and total dominance: The Catholic Church. May Our Blessed Virgin Mary pray for us.

  8. disco says:

    Postcatholic- You don’t use democratic like that. It’s the democratic party but its members are democrats. To call someone a democratic governor is ambiguous. It could mean that they are democratic in the sense that they are populist, whereas a democrat governor is clearly in reference to the political party.

  9. Traductora says:

    Why, oh why, oh why will they not apply Canon 915 to these people? This is beyond one mistaken decision on an issue, but is obviously the acceptance and proclamation of moral (and thus doctrinal) beliefs completely at odds with those of the Church. What more are the bishops waiting for?

  10. Choirmaster says:

    This whole “gay marriage” and all the related fluff will be the main vehicle for persecution of the Church in this country. It will not be contraceptives or abortion; the science is all-to-clear and most people can see right through it; life begins at conception not just philosophically but photographically.

    The issue of the homosexual’s cultural–excuse me, civil–rights and “gay marriage”, and most importantly their “right” to be approved of and not ever offended is probably the least well-articulated opposition that the Church has. This will not draw sympathy from the majority of the population because it’s easier to sell them on the idea that the Church is just being meeean!

    They’ve already had success with this one where success was lacking in the contraception/abortion mandate.

  11. Biedrik says:

    This article has gotten its facts wrong. What they’re quoting is an out of date version of the bill. If you go to the current version of the bill and scroll down, you’ll see at 2(6) that it in fact says the exact opposite. Crisis averted.

  12. ttucker says:

    Biedrik is correct- even within the story that is posted, it says that that provision was struck from the bill before passage.

  13. Denis says:


    The article talks about ‘Church-owned facilities’, which don’t appear to be exempt. They may not be able to use the sanctuary, but they may still be able to use the parish hall, or some other facility owned by the parish.

  14. Denis says:


    The paragraph you are probably referring to is the following:

    ‘The bill text originally stated that religious organizations that provide “accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage” to the public must offer all those goods for use to homosexual couples seeking marriage or else face a penalty for discrimination. The version of the bill that passed dropped the qualification, allowing religious groups to retain marriage facilities for heterosexual unions.’

    Note that they dropped the requirement that parishes make available to gay couples EVERYTHING that they make available to heterosexual couples–which would include the use of the sanctuary, and perhaps even everything else involved in the ceremony, like sacramentals, etc. However, parishes would still be required to make available ‘facilities’ that they own; this may continue to apply to parish halls and other buildings.

  15. pm125 says:

    Why does the population who reviles the Catholic Church want to marry in one?
    Could it be the beauty?

  16. Denis says:


    They don’t really…it’s about indimidation. The long-term goal is to force churches to stop teaching that the gay lifestyle is morally wrong and to require them to solemnize gay marriages. It sounds crazy, but so did the idea of gay marriage a few decades ago.

  17. keithp says:

    Canon 915
    Canon 915

    Father and others keep saying, “Canon 915”

    I recently re-watched a favorite movie of mine. “Breaker Morant”
    When one of the prisoners is asked under what law were the Boer prisoners tried, he says “”We caught them, and we shot them under rule .303!!” Refering to the caliber of their rifles.

    Now, I am not suggesting anyone should be shot. But, we do have a similar cry on how to deal with these folks. Canon 915!

  18. pm125 says:

    Denis, they sure are adept at intimidation – and at a national scale. Hell on roller skates. Personally, saying unholy alliance as a response in too-many-for-my-sensibility occurences isn’t enough. I’ve been left in their category of disapproved for ‘friendship’ any longer for not giving show of approval.
    A few (3-5) decades ago, gay was a happy word and much of sexual activity was not a public dogbone. Character, virtue especially respect and honor reigned.

  19. Wade says:

    keithp, are you saying that the S&W Model 915 might be the applicable “cannon?”


  20. ContraMundum says:


    I don’t think there is a question any longer about whether the Republic will survive. It will not die because we will destroy it, but because no effort of ours will be able to preserve it. The question is whether it can be resurrected.

  21. ttucker says:

    If you read the acual bill that Biedril linked to, I think religious organizations clearly are immune from having to provide anything . In another section of the bill, however, it is ironic to read that people are still prohibited from marrying a child, grandhcild, etc. How long will that prohibition be upheld, and on what rationale can they hold to that, I wonder.

  22. frjim4321 says:

    Per Biedrik I believe Life Site News misstated the particulars of the equal marriage bill.

  23. wmeyer says:

    Contramundum, I fear you are right, and pray you are wrong. In many ways, however, starting over might be a blessing, at least if we could craft a means of avoiding the problems which have plagued us since about 1880….

  24. Denis says:

    I read 2 (6), cited by Biedrik, which mentions educational instutitions–but, having read it again, I found 1 (6): ‘A religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action…based on its refusal to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.’

    Does this apply to facilities that are NOT ‘related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage’? E.g., a parish hall might count as a facility that is not ‘related to the solemnization or celebration of marriage’ in the religious sense of ‘solemnization and celebration’, which is the only sense that is constitutionally protected; consequently, it might not be covered by this.

    Whatever the fate of this bill, it is a trial balloon and a sign of battles to come.

  25. chantgirl says:

    Okay, I’m having a fantasy here that the Bishops could call a press conference, and then read off a list of politicians to be excommunicated, name first and then crime. I don’t relish the thought of anyone being excommunicated, but I also don’t relish the thought of any Bishops in Hell, either. If the Bishops did this as a group instead of one by one in their own dioceses, they would be less vulnerable than individual Bishops who might excommunicate a single politician in a local media setting. The Bishops could take the heat as a group, although perhaps each Bishop would have to read the name of the politicians in his own care to be excommunicated. I can only imagine the press that this would get! It would give the Bishops an opportunity to explain what an excommunication is, and do some damage control with respect to the scandal given by our CINO politicians. No one would have the excuse that they were unaware of the Church’s teaching on abortion/contraception/gay marriage after that.

  26. Mary Jane says:

    “…we will make sure that voters in Washington have the ability to decide the definition of marriage for themselves.”

    This is disgusting. Marriage cannot be redefined — it is what it is, a sacred union between one man and one woman. Other … ahem … unions … can pretend to be marriage, but that’s all — just pretend.

  27. PostCatholic says:

    wmeyer, are you quite it’s not pejorative? I have never really tried to test how republican in nature the Republican party is, but even if I discovered its nature wasn’t republican, I’m not sure I’d feel a need to begin calling it the Republic party. I have hunch both parties are Plutocratic (or Plutocrat, if you prefer odd constructions of English) and that while the smoke-filled back rooms may be less smoky than in decades past, the party bosses gather in them without their cigars nonetheless.

  28. Kathleen10 says:

    May I just add, since the article makes reference to the National Organization for Marriage, that this fine organization got it’s start, in a way, in Connecticut, when Brian Brown, now the head of NOM, was then the director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, an excellent group now aptly headed by Peter Wolfgang. Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher are probably known to most of you, but if not, may I say that winning Powerball would be wonderful, if only to provide funds for these groups, and others like them. NOM is always at the forefront of our culture wars, as they were with Prop 8 in California. They always need financial support, because it of course takes money to fight atheist billionaires like George Soros, who fund so much of what ails America today, by promoting legislation that turns our society on it’s head. It is money well spent. Brian Brown was trained at Oxford. He is a really fine individual, and a devout Catholic. He has a beautiful family. He’s a good man, and I pray that people learn about and support NOM, because they are the ones to battle these things out in the public eye, the media, and importantly, the courts, where it all happens. It’s not easy being them, they get threatened with all manner of things, but thank God, they keep fighting on. They have made quite a difference in a number of states. Unfortunately they couldn’t help us here in Connecticut, where I am saddened to say the people did not vote for the right to vote on this issue. Most people at the polls had no idea what a vote for a referendum was even about. I know. I stood outside the polls by myself with a sign that said “Thomas Jefferson would have wanted a referendum on Question 1”.
    I really had no idea if Thomas Jefferson would have wanted a referendum on Question 1, but, I felt he might, so I wrote it. I did get to inform some voters about the referendum, so it wasn’t a total loss, but ultimately, not enough people supported voting on this incredibly important bill.
    We are all going to have to be political activists before we make a dent in the culture war. If you haven’t done it yet, I can assure you, it’s lonely sometimes, but it’s also edifying to do something small for God and country.

  29. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m sorry, Question 1 was a matter of saying yes to civil unions or gay marriage. You’d think people would want to vote on such an important issue. They didn’t, so the legislature decided. We have an active, openly gay smattering of legislators in Connecticut, so guess what they voted. (They are also responsible for some incredibly anti-Catholic legislation, but that did get such a negative response from the public they had to withdraw it).

  30. Mark Windsor says:

    We can shout “Canon 915” all we want. But the simple fact is that nothing will happen without a real excommunication or two. Saying that they are already excommunicated via their actions simply avoids the PR difficulties of formalizing the judgement. With the Church – in the form of the bishops – being unwilling to actually do anything substantive, then we are alone.

    The bishops have abdicated through inaction and we are, for the most part, without shepherds.

  31. rosesoap says:

    A group called Preserve Marriage Washington filed Referendum 73 Monday afternoon (within 4 hours of the signing). If they collect the more than 120,577 valid voter signatures needed by June 6, the law will be put on hold pending the outcome of a November vote. Separately, an initiative was filed at the beginning of the legislative session that could also lead to the new law being overturned.

    I grow increasingly disgusted with this state that I love so much. I also am reading rumblings for an expansion of the euthanasia law to include the not terminally ill. May God help us!

  32. oldcanon2257 says:

    My first post here. Bear with me, please.

    Fantasy indeed, but that is a sight I would love to see. Would those politicians be excommunicated under Canon 1364 of the 1983 CIC (Code of Canon Law) for apostasy, heresy or schism? Or would they be under Canon 1369 for “in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church”?

    Do not get me wrong, it pains us all when anybody is severed from the mystical body of Christ. However, as a measure of correction and prevention many times it must be done for the sake of the spiritual well-being of the ones being excommunicated, and for the good of the rest of the flock as well. After all, Our Lord willed the Church into existence to save souls. Even though I fully understand that excommunication is simply tough love (out of love for the sinners) I have to admit that I would derive some degree of satisfaction if the public excommunications chantgirl described were to occur. The satisfaction is from knowing that evil would have been dealt a severe blow by none other than our Holy Mother Church.

    I truly doubt that our fantasy will become reality any time soon. It seems that the American episcopate is a long way from the degree of unity required for such public mass excommunication to occur. In 1990 H.E. Bp. Rene H. Gracida, then-Ordinary of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX formally excommunicated 3 persons for “cooperation in procuring abortions” after warning them repeatedly to no avail. Those 3 abortionists had already incurred excommunication latae sententiae, and His Excellency simply confirmed in writing by issuing the decrees of excommunication. Those abortionists chose to make their excommunication known publicly. Even so, the impression I had was that many of his brother bishops at the time, more concerned with being politically acceptable or simply having a false sense of being pastoral, tried their best to distance themselves from the good bishop and from confronting the subject of imposing canonical penalties as rightly called for by the Code of Canon Law in such cases. Bp. Gracida was very courageous to run in the opposite direction, especially in the turbulent 1990’s when many of his brother bishops in the US were running towards the cliff.

    I remember that dramatic scene in the movie “Becket” with Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, anathematizing Lord Gilbert. Such powerful words. That scene raised the hairs on the back of my neck every single time.

    Canon 2257 of the 1917 CIC (“Dicitur quoque anathema, praesertim si cum sollemnitatibus infligatur quae in Pontificali Romano describuntur”) mentioned the old solemn form of pronouncing excommunication as found in the old Pontificale Romanum. A few general questions:

    1. Is the old Canon 2257 still in force? [No. There is no longer a provision in the 1983 Code like that.]

    2. Is the old formula of anathematization in the old Pontificale Romanum reserved to the Roman Pontiff alone? Could it be used by papal legates?

    3. The canonical penalty in Canon 1364 is latae sententiae, but for Canon 1369, the penalty is ferendae sententiae, would that be correct?

    4. If the penalty is ferendae sententiae (as in the case of Canon 1369, I presume), would it require that proceeding against the person be started in a canonical trial in order for the competent authority to decide on what a just penalty would be?

    5. Has the Church ever publicly excommunicated, under Canon 1364 or Canon 1369, any media personality who is a Catholic and works for either Catholic media or secular media?

    Sorry if I’m a bit off topic, but ever since Father Z brought up Canon 915, I just can’t help myself.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    Priests, catechists and the faithful will be prosecuted, as they have been in parts of Canada. We must be clear and strong. Part of the problem are liberal and even some so-called good Catholics who tolerate evil and refuse to follow the teachings of Christ.

  34. Bob says:

    We must stand against this evil regardless of the civil penalties – Just Say No.

  35. irishgirl says:

    @ chantgirl-yes, I’d like to see such a scene, too. And use the words of excommunication from the scene in ‘Becket’ to boot!
    I’m soooo tired of these ‘c-atholic’ politicians caving into the homosexual lobby (well as to Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL and other minions of the devil) and redefining ‘marriage’ in such a perverted way!
    More power to those who are going to put this to a referendum on the November ballot! I hope they get the numbers in order to succeed!

  36. Brad says:

    PM125 and Denis, hi.

    I agree with your speculations that it is about “beauty” and also “intimidation”, but might I add my own, less mundane (literally) speculation? What they, anyone, really, want is to salve our guilty consciences in this vale of tears and to, in our disordered way of thinking, build up some sort of rapport with the God we know is there in the invisible spiritual realm, whether we claim atheism or agnosticism or whatnot. I think people who would use the Church and the Church’s churches in this way are very nervous about their lifestyle (aren’t we all!) and are merely trying to hedge their bets against the particular judgment. They probably deny the reality of that judgment as well as the Judge. Or they believe (want to believe) that the way is wide, multi-entranced, and hell is empty anyway. So they are going through the motions of behaving as if they take seriously being a member of Christ’s mystical body while, on every day but that “wedding” day, they do not consider that Body to exist or, if it does, consider themselves too good (enlightened) for it. This is the horror of not only the modern, neo-pagan world, but all of the post-Edenic world, and is the horror of the offense we send toward heaven that garners a reply such as this:

    “Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love.”

    Oh, that we all would read with proper fear and trembling Matthew 7:21. But I guess the souls who are busting their way into the halls and even sanctuaries are not the souls who will be interested.

    Please God have mercy on us. Remember, our Lord, your wounds, wounded for us.

  37. danno2281 says:

    “Ah, yes, the ‘gays’ are getting their rights. But what of the poor bi-sexuals? When will we finally allow them to marry one of each sex? And if my dog loves me as much as I love my dog, what about marriage for us? If I can leave my inheritance to my cat, isn’t there a precedent for treating an animal as a person too?” We still have far to go before the reign of idiocy brings our society to the borders of total insanity, but we are certainly moving in that direction.

  38. JohnRoss says:

    The freedom of conscience is under assault. We need to take a stand.

  39. Pingback: HHS Mandate = symptom of bigger battle | Quicksilver to Gold

  40. Pingback: THURSDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | ThePulp.it

Comments are closed.