Freedom of religion must include freedom from religion, and I abhor laws that effectively impose religious ideas on others. If not for religious notions, I think that gay marriage and other gay rights would have been recognized long ago.
See this is where you lose me. Right off the bat let me make this clear - morally and intellectually I can make a strong case for gay marriage and fully support it (frankly, I think my case is a better one to get gay marriage cemented than what you typically hear), but we do live in a democracy. We can't just identify some laws and ideas and ban them from the public conscience or the law book simply because we think their source is in religion. That's taking the concept too far. It's making the same mistake the religious people are making by legislating their ideas.
To me, free speech exists to give everyone a voice - including voices that dissent or disagree with us. That would include the ability to profess one's faith and the need for the country's laws to reflect that. Religion is always going to infiltrate government at some level because the law is often built on moral ideas and moral ideas often comes from religion. Where the ACLU and others need to draw the line is where the freedom to express one's religion infringes on the rights of another - which is very different than what you said.
The two issues you cite are complicated because abortion is an incredibly messy exchange of morals even for people who are "pro-life" and the idea of "rights" in this scenario has always bothered me. Likewise, marriage is a privilege not a right. I think you'd find if you analyze more of the religious ideas you want gone from discourse you'd realize that they too get caught in difficult moral dilemmas. That isn't for the ACLU to decide and when I hear their members say similar things I am very worried.
Morals do have place in our society and laws. Most law schools actually had you take a class on it (I didn't but most did). Certain laws - such as laws against prostitution and drug use are illegal b/c of how society views those actions and not necessarily b/c those actions are - per se - evil. As opposed to murder or theft, for example. At the end of the day, you can trace pretty much any law we have to some sort of moral under pinning, either from religion or cultural practices.
That said, morals can't be the end all. A majority of Americans have, at certain times in our history, supported lesser rights for women, homosexuals and other minorities. A lot of this discrimination was based on religious and moral teachings. This is a link of southern pastor Phil Snider supporting same sex relationships by comparing the discussions now and of racial segregation made 50 years earlier. http://www.huffingto...&comm_ref=false
The ACLU has done a great job of supporting people's right to express their religious views. They represented the idiot Baptists that protested military funerals, for instance. The ACLU gets a bad rap b/c it'll step in and stop a city from supporting certain religious views and people forget about the ACLU supporting individuals religious rights.