To the Editors:

"No on 1" fever has swept through Bowdoin. Popular though this stand may be, the promise of "equal rights" may have adverse repercussions for society.

The law in question consoles that the State will not "interfere...with any...religious doctrine," and indeed allows religious institutions not to perform same-sex "marriages." However, religious institutions do more than perform the literal act of marrying people. They employ, educate and provide services—societal roles threatened by this legislation.

Elsewhere, religious institutions have been forced to extend to gay couples the benefits they would to straight married couples. Religious colleges have been forced to provide housing for same-sex married couples. And in a most stark instance of coercion, Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to close its century-old adoption agency for not allowing gay couples to adopt their children.

We do not suggest that gay couples be denied legal rights enjoyed by traditional couples—quite to the contrary, we cherish those rights endowed by our Creator and embodied in our Founding Documents.

However, we reject that any religious institution should be denied First Amendment rights and be forced, under penalty of law, to violate its own doctrine. We reject that such coercion might occur here. And we reject that this assault on such fundamental institutions of society is being championed under the guise of "equal rights."


Roberto Flores '12

Brian Lohotsky '11