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.


  1. Very well written, Ellen.

    Yes, when religion is removed it boils down to simple discrimination.

  2. Perfectly said. Amen. Yes. Now let's see how Supreme that court is.

  3. even as a young girl, i thought it unfair they could not be legally recognized.

    besides, gays and lesbians should have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us. ;)

  4. Yes Ellen! But of course! Religion should be abolished- religion seems to be the worst invention for human's advancing to a higher state of being, for a greater measure of compassion and intellect. It makes no sense other than to control and soak less evolved masses of folks . Yeah, It's dumb!! The Mormon church with it's big bucks pushed prop 8 through - their religion is all about making more people for their after life on their own planet, why wait, I say- go now please- and minding their silly religious rules contrived from a dude who could see god and hear god through a pebble in a makes sense, and some emotionally charged "truths" according to invented religion are used- like the very weak argument that "every child deserves a mother and a father" ...yeah, in a perfect world. I really don't understand the issue with religious folks, they are just mean spirited, I guess, and there goes the irony.

  5. I've taken a deep breath and wait for them to do the right thing. The tide is turning; I hope they move with it.

  6. I keep saying it, but all I think is why should anyone else care if two people want to marry each other. It's not like gay marriages will take away the supposed sanctity they think they have in their heterosexual marriages. I just don't get it!
    Religious people have the right to believe whatever the heck they want but they don't have the right to try and make others think as they do.
    Well said Ellen!

  7. Isn't it amazing how those people's god seems to have the same prejudices and biases that they themselves have? One doesn't hear them condemning the eating of shellfish, or insisting that unruly children be stoned...(although they may already be. Ha!)...even though their bible is just as clear about these things as anything else. But that would cost them something themselves, while picking out someone else's "sin" doesn't. Funny how that works.

    "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal"...except of course, for anyone they don't happen to like. That is, anyone different from themselves.

  8. Isn't funny how God is claimed to be Love, and religious people value their right to practice their religion and yet they would hinder the right of other's to love or Love?

  9. I had the radio on two days ago but wasn't really listening to the news, and mistakenly heard the Supreme Court had upheld Prop 8. What an unthinkable outcome that would be, especially with more states legalizing gay marriage (Washington state's law into effect today) suggesting that the country as a whole is moving in that direction. As you pointed out, those who oppose it mostly do so on religious grounds, which means that the last place in the country it will come to (barring some big Supreme Court decision) will be the Deep South. I'm disappointed that my own state, Oregon, hasn't made it legal, but it no doubt will within the next few years.

  10. I live in Washington and we just passed the right to marry. So, I'm all for it.

    I've never understood why people can't be together and get benefits etc based on being partners in life. It should have nothing to do with religion.

    I do hope they make the right decision.

  11. Yes. Bravo! I couldn't agree more.

    Somehow I don't think Scalia and Alito will be able to set religion aside. But I'm still hopeful that justice will prevail nonetheless.

  12. Amen Ellen! Although I'll just add a caveat that not EVERYONE's God abhors homosexuality - at least in my little corner of Episcopal land :) In fact, I met my first transgendered person at church. I realize we're in the minority though...

  13. Well, you're clearly preaching to the choir here.. so to speak.

    Hopefully your court will do the right thing. Marriage and all of its benefits has been legal for gay couples across Canada since 2005. In my province of Ontario, legalization was in 2003 and at that time, it was also ruled that survivor benefits for same sex spouses who died would become retroactive to 1985. I hope that before too long, it will be similar in your country.

  14. The same book in the Bible that bans homosexuality bans eating shellfish and I see the state of California has shut down a 40-year-old oyster farm. Next I most certainly expect to see more stoning of those in the process of getting a divorce.


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