Regardless of which side of the fence of this controversial issue you take to heart, a good many Americans watched the drama outside the Supreme Court last week as it heard two days of separate arguments to end the discrimination against “gay marriage”
Knowing I am personally biased, it is interesting for me to consider both sides of the argument as they discuss the legal rights afforded only heterosexual married couples and the religious right touting the resultant destruction of “traditional marriage” if gays were allowed to be legally wed. Supposedly God Himself has defined marriage as being only between one man and one woman and anything outside those parameters are outside of God’s law.
I actually have a great respect for many of the teachings in the Bible even if I don’t buy into all of the specific language and various interpretations as they are presented. But the bigger issue to me is that as Americans, politics and religion are supposed to be completely separate. A great many of our leaders including former President Ronald Reagan have been adamant about that. Keeping the separation of church and state is what allows us to have our religious freedom in the first place. So why is it that religious values touted as ‘God’s law’ have become mandated as American law? Does that mean an aetheist shouldn’t be allowed to get married in City Hall? Legal marriage licenses are applied for and granted in a government setting; church ceremonies are completely separate. No one is asking the Catholic priest to perform a wedding ceremony that is contradicted in his specific religious beliefs. But that doesn’t mean that because of those religious beliefs the love between those two people is any less valid or sacred.
The other problem I have with this is the belief that more harm can come of allowing gay marriage than not. Actually, it is my opinion that quite the opposite is true. Loving, committed unions exist with or without their legal definition and the accompanying rights, and the hundreds of thousands of children being raised in these families are discriminated against because they can’t understand why their mommies and daddies can’t get married and be treated like everyone else’s mommies and daddies. I know the truth in this scenario, because I am living it. My 11 year old is taller than me now but has been waiting for several years to be the flower girl in her mommies’ wedding and she has repeatedly asked me when the laws will change.
Gay marriage, like ALL marriage, like ALL families is defined by LOVE. And we will continue to love each other with or without the benefit of legal recognition. That isn’t going to change because of any court ruling.
To say gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry because it isn’t possible for them to naturally procreate would also discount the marriage of every infertile couple, of every older adult marriage where the woman has already gone through menopause. They cannot procreate so should we discriminate against them too? I wish I were making a complicated point that would justify all the controversy but from where I sit, the matter is very simple. Allowing gays to marry does not actually lead to the legality of animal weddings or polygamy anymore than allowing women to vote means you can take ‘Fido’ down to your polling station and registering him to vote.
Honestly, the matter is very simple. Love is love is love. I will love my partner with all my heart, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, ‘til death do us part. That doesn’t change regardless of whether we are ever able to legally wed and become secure in all the same rights, protections, and privileges that heterosexual couples are afforded through marriage.
But the legal rights, protections and privileges sure would be nice.
Someday there won’t be any such thing as “gay marriage” because all marriages will be treated equally under the law. My daughter still really wants to be my flower girl no matter how old she gets to be by the time our union is legal.