Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Response to gay marriage

I posted some questions a few days ago regarding people's opposition to gay marriage. Nobody actually responded with their personal opinion regarding the issue. But I did have one commenter ask me to post all of my feelings about this.

I don't know that I can adequately express ALL of my feelings about this in a single post. But, if you want to know where I'm coming from with this, please watch Keith Olbermann's eloquent response before reading on.

What do I think...?

First and foremost, I hold that it is the job of the government to PROTECT our right to believe whatever we want in regard to religion, etc. Not to DICTATE to us what to believe.

If you are a member of a religion that views homosexuality as a sin, that is your prerogative. The government cannot demand that you change your mind about that. You do not have to allow homosexual members into your church, you do not have to perform gay marriage ceremonies, you do not have to provide any kind of service to them.

However, you cannot claim that same privilege to believe how you will, and then turn around and deny that to others. You cannot expect the government to protect your rights yet deny those same rights to people who think differently than you. The government cannot force you to accept homosexuality. AND, the government cannot deny others their own homosexuality.

The government of this country is NOTHING if it does not treat all of its citizens with equality. The government CANNOT dictate to you what is right or wrong in regard to your PERSONAL beliefs. How can you say that the government has a right to allow marriages between people who think one way, but not to people who think another way?

It is not the role of government to decide who is right or wrong in this issue. It is the role of government to allow equal treatment of all of its citizens. That is what the Constitution is for!

Second. I must again wonder, What are you afraid of?

I have had discussions this week with my students about why urban areas tend to vote more liberal than the rest of the country. Without fail, in every single class period, the students were quick to respond with the word, "Exposure." When you have friends who are black, or Muslim, or homosexual, or green, or whatever, you realize that they're really just as normal and boring as you are. You realize there is nothing about them that you need to fear. They're just people.

Are you afraid of losing the "sanctity of marriage and the family?" I would have to say, then, that that is only because you know no families with two parents of the same gender.

Again, back to my school. There are a number of homosexual faculty members in long-term relationships. One in particular has been with his partner for YEARS. They have 2 adopted children. They are one of the most loving families I've ever known. They do birthday parties and parent-teacher conferences and swimming pools and everything else typical, two-parent families do. The children are perfectly well-adjusted. And they don't seem to be "catching" any "gay germs" from their fathers.

You want to protect families? Allow them to exist!! Allow homosexual partners to marry, adopt children, and raise those children in loving, warm homes.

What are you afraid of?

Third. This was pointed out most poignantly by Olbermann. If we did not "redefine marriage" it would still be illegal across this country for black Americans to marry.

I hope that by this day and age, you can look back at the laws against miscegenation and recognize their ridiculousness. But at the time, people were just as scared that the "sanctity of marriage and the family" would be destroyed if a black and white couple were allowed to marry.

Silly fears.

Last. Marriage is defined as a man and a woman in the Bible. That is all. Thankfully, we use the Constitution to govern this country, not the Bible.

If you do not want to marry a person of the same gender, don't.

But why do you have to stick your nose into someone else's life and dictate their decisions? You expect them to stay out of your decisions. Why can't you stay out of theirs?


  1. Marriage has two meanings...

    first it's a civil contract between two people that they're going to share everything in their lives.

    second it's a religious rite signifying the union of two people.

    Now the problem is occurring because the state has co-opted the word "marriage" as the first definition and everyone assumes that because it's being used in the first way that it's forcing people to also use it in the second way.

    This all would have been a hell of a lot easier if a couple of centuries ago the government used a different word...

    There was a great essay on NPR about Love and Marriage: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90889904

    You can read the essay here: http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/gaymarriage.html

    Anyways... Love is love. Why are we trying to put limits on it?

  2. Amen to your post and to Liam's comment.

    It's one thing for individual churches to oppose gay marriage and to refuse to marry a gay couple. It's another thing for churches to enter the political fray and to inject their morality into the government.

    If heterosexuals wants to protect the institution of marriage, then they should lobby for more legislation against domestic abuse and they should encourage engaged couples to seek premarital counseling. Or even make divorces harder to attain! (I say this jokingly.) I do not see how gay marriage threatens my own marriage in any way, shape, or form.

  3. I feel that this is a free country and you should be able to marry who you want to....like Liam said why shouldn't the gays be as miserable as us straights..lol

  4. The entire Prop 8 mess has been such a disaster! I was SHOCKED that is went so horribly wrong. :(



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