Following the decision of the New York state legislature to approve gay marriage, the New York Times unwittingly revealed where its editorial board, and probably many of its allies in the gay rights movement, eventually wants to go. Lamenting the presence of religious exemptions in the bill, the Times opined:

In drafting a compromise, however, Senator Saland and other Republicans insisted on language that carves out exceptions for religious institutions and not-for-profit corporations affiliated with those religious entities. That provision allows those tax-exempt entities to refuse to marry a same-sex couple or to allow the use of their buildings or services for weddings or wedding parties. There was simply no need for these exemptions, since churches are protected under both the federal Constitution and New York law from being required to marry anyone against their beliefs.

If the writers had just stopped there, they might have made a reasonable argument. It may be that, from a legal standpoint, the exemptions in the bill were superfluous, and that adequate protections for religious dissenters from the reigning sexual orthodoxy already exist. I don’t buy that argument, given the difficulties that a Methodist-owned facility in New Jersey ran into when it refused to allow gay union ceremonies a couple of years ago, but maybe it’s different in New York. But then they pulled the curtain aside, and the real view behind their complaint was made apparent:

While some civil rights advocates are optimistic that these provisions are relatively minor, we are deeply troubled by their discriminatory intent.

In the minds of the Times editors, the protection of dissent, religious freedom, and rights of association are “discriminatory.” Because “discrimination” is the cardinal sin in today’s liberal social order, it must be extirpated by any means necessary, and if that can only happen by trampling on the First Amendment, and the religious convictions of millions of people…well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, can you?

There is a suspicion–one that has been pooh-poohed by the poobahs of the mainstream media, academia, and the political and religious left for years–that the ultimate goal of the gay rights crusaders is to force religious believers to knuckle under to the new sexual orthodoxy by threatening to criminalize their behavior under anti-discrimination laws. The lament of the Times editors about the “discriminatory intent” of legal provisions designed to protect those believers is just one more piece of evidence that there’s something to the suspicion.