Sunday, December 9, 2012
love and marriage
I see that the Supreme Court is going to take on Prop 8 and the Defense Of Marriage Act. I would be glad that this debate is finally going to be put to rest but with such a conservative court, I'm not sure that they will be able to keep their religious views out of it and come to the only right decision.
Prop 8, in case you aren't aware, is California's amendment to their state constitution that banned gay marriage. It has been challenged in the courts and found to be unconstitutional but it's proponents keep pushing it to a higher court and it finally made it's way to the top. The challenge to DOMA is only against the section that prevents the federal government from recognizing and giving the rightful benefits to same sex marriages even if it is legal in the couple's home state.
It seems to me the outcome should be pretty clear. In this country we are supposed to have separation of church and state.
Although many states have banned same sex marriages, their main reason for doing so is based on their religious beliefs, a 5,000 year old book of stories. Their god finds it abhorrent so they find it abhorrent and since so many LGBT are not staying in the closet and insist on being who they are in their public lives as well as their private lives and they fall in love and want to get married, that somehow threatens these religious people so they scrambled to make it against the law. To 'define' marriage. And, by god, their tax dollars will not go towards benefits to people that god abhors.
Only, that's just their religious opinion.
The reality of it is that human gender and sexuality is extremely complex. It comes in many forms and there is no one 'right' way to be.
Isn't it enough that two people, regardless of their sex, have bonded in love and want to have a committed relationship? And if special civil rights are given to married people should not same sex couples be granted those rights as well? Because it's not just about being able to get health insurance through your spouse's job. It's about having the right to sit by your loved one and make decisions for them while they are gravely ill. It's about having the right to inherit, without all the taxes, the estate of your partner. It's about having the right to be recognized as a unit by all the powers that be. It's about not being marginalized in your community. And yes, it's about getting the same perks from the government as opposite sex couples and why not?
Regardless of what they claim, this group of religious people did not invent marriage and should not be allowed to define marriage, an institution that has existed in many forms throughout human civilization. I'm not saying that these religious groups should be forced to marry LGBT people if they are against it. I am saying they should not be allowed to force their particular religious beliefs about the right or wrong of human sexuality on the rest of the population and deny marriage to anyone who so desires it. Marriage does not require a religious ceremony.
It is my great hope that the Supreme Court will be able to take religion out of the equation altogether when they deliberate these two cases because when you take religion out of the equation, there is not one single good reason to deny the gay community the right to marry.