So, in my return to my personal internet street corner, I’ve decided to tackle one of everyone’s favorite hot-button issues: same-sex marriage.
I’m actually doing this in regards to April 28th’s arguments in the Supreme Court regarding marriage licenses for homosexual couples. Now let me be clear on one thing here: this is to determine whether or not the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution would require, by definition, for states to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples and recognize same-sex marriages as legally binding. As you’ll notice, nothing about religion. No one is going to force anyone to perform a wedding ceremony they don’t feel is moral. No government official is going to barge into a Catholic church demanding they sanctify a wedding between two men. Likewise, no one is going to demand the Westboro Baptist Church sanctify a Muslim wedding; no one is going to demand the Church of Scientology sanctify a Seventh Day Adventist wedding; and no one is going to demand a Jehovah’s Witness Temple sanctify a Mormon wedding.
This is not, I repeat, NOT a religious issue. It’s tied up in religion pretty tightly, but we live in a country where church and state are separate. This is a civil rights issue.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the nitty-gritty details of the 14th Amendment (and, let’s face it, not a lot of us are), I have taken the liberty of looking it up:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
That is section one. There are four more sections, dealing mostly with representatives in government and aren’t applicable here. All of them can be found through the Library of Congress at loc.gov.
Again, nothing about religion. You could call homosexuals criminals, moral perverts, and anything else you like – Freedom of Speech protects your right to do that – but you cannot deny them their humanity and, therefore, their rights if they are a citizen of the United States.
Okay, you can, but you will look like a damn idiot doing so.
The debate here is whether or not individual states are denying the privileges of American same-sex couples by denying them marriage licenses or refusing to recognize their marriage if it happened in another state.
There a lot of talk about the definition of marriage wrapped up in this as well, at least as a legal term. The problem is, people seem to be getting confused between the words “legal” and “sacred.” Now, I will admit that one of the definitions of “sacred” is “secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right” (thank you dictionary.com) – which is pretty much the definition everyone seems to be stuck on here. However, we have to ask ourselves: “Whose definition of ‘sense of right’ are we going to use here?” The Judeo-Christian definition is the one we’re using now and, by using that definition, we are cutting out – denying – the freedom of other religions to have a sense of right. We’ve given them ours and told them that, legally, this is the one you get to use.
Quite frankly, I am extremely surprised no one has stood up and said, “My religion states that same sex marriages are moral and right. And my religion has the same legitimacy as yours does, ’cause this is America.”
Many Christians are threatening civil disobedience if the Supreme Court approves same-sex marriage. Bad news: it won’t actually make a difference if you refuse to obey the law, because you lot don’t have a say now. Marriage is not subject to religious approval. You can be legally wed and not get any sort of church involved at all.
As for simply not recognizing a marriage that doesn’t line up with your morals – you don’t do that now. How will this be a change?
Additionally, there is also some business about individual state rights. Let’s keep in mind that we are a nation, not a collection of countries. Let’s behave like one.
Those are the facts of the case – admittedly heavily colored with some very biased language. But I have looked the facts up. Anyone else can as well.
I will leave you to your own thoughts on this, but my opinion on this is:
Hell yes, states that haven’t legalized same-sex marriages are denying the privileges of Americans who want them. This is not about religion. This is not about politics. This is not about breeding or child-rearing. This is not about gender balance or anything else. This is about life, liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.
Oh, and from a moral standpoint, I see it as this: the world is a miserable, terrible and tragic place. If you have found love and happiness, it doesn’t matter who it’s with. If you can hold on to it, bless you for doing so. The world needs all it can take.