“A federal judge in San Francisco decided today that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions.”
It’s about time. I keep hearing the same misguided argument that marriage is a religious union between a man and a woman.
Perhaps for some.
But this is America where freedom of religion is a right. So, firstly, not everyone subscribes to the same religion or interpretation of religion.
Second, who says marriage is only a religious union? Are Atheists not allowed to marry? I wasn’t raised with the notion that marriage was a religious union and I’m an American. Does that mean those married by a justice of the peace and not a priest or a rabbi or some other religious figure are not truly married? C’mon, people. You may have your preferences, but stop deciding the definition of marriage for all people. THAT, my friend, is NOT American.
Third, there’s the argument that a child should be raised by a male and a female, a mother and a father. Okay, so what about gay couples that don’t want children? Or what about heterosexual single parents? If one dies or goes off to war and is not present for the child’s developmental years… Should that marriage be annulled? Are those kids in horrible danger of becoming deviants? Or perverts? Should the surviving parent have their child or children taken away?
Fourth, there’s the argument that all gay couples want is what is already offered through civil unions. By what if what they want is to be equal? What if what they want is to be able to express their love for one another through an institution and ritual that they were taught is what one does when one is in love. They get “married.” What if one person’s definition of marriage, like one’s definition of Christianity, Judaism, Democracy, etc., is different from someone else’s?
No, for America to work, for it to be the land of the free, all people must be treated equal. They must have equal rights. And in order to achieve that, we must have tolerance and understanding.
Then there’s the lovely notion that gays getting married tarnishes the very institution of marriage itself. Really? I know and have seen quite a few heterosexual couples that don’t do much justice to, or seem to display an overwhelming respect for, the institution of marriage. It’s on a couple by couple basis. By the same token, I know a number of gay marriages that I, as a heterosexual, hope to someday be able to emulate in both commitment, communication and expression of love and understanding.
We should all be so blessed.