Marriage for All

Can I just say how sick I am of the furious debate over whether or not same-sex marriages should be recognized? OF COURSE they should be recognized. As it is, you’re denying a significant group of people the rights and privileges afforded to others. How is this not discrimination?

The main argument seems to be that “”This is changing the whole system of marriage, which is one man and one woman…” (from a Washington Post article on the DC bill recognizing same-sex marriages in other states). That, my friends, is a load of BS. Good BS, but BS nonetheless.

Who says that marriage should be between one man and one woman? Most argue that it comes from the Bible. This is where I see problem number 1: clear violation of our strong tradition of the separation of church and state. Would we all sit so quietly by if we let what the Bible say dictate other rights and privileges? And what about people who aren’t religious? Aren’t we infringing on their lack of a belief system by enshrining in law Christian beliefs?

From what I can tell, this practice is also infringing on the beliefs of other Christians. (And forgive me for excluding other religions, as a Christian, this is the tradition I am most familiar with.) In 1977, Dr. James B. Nelson, a professor of Christian ethics at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minnesota, wrote and article entitled “Homosexuality and the Church” in which he argued “The church’s firm support of civil rights for gay persons ought not depend upon agreement concerning the theological and ethical appropriateness of the homosexual orientation or of specific same-sex acts. Civil rights support ought to be considered an expression of Christian concern for basic social justice.”

That was in 1977! Over 30 years ago! Since then we’ve seen the ordination of the first openly gay Bishop in the Episcopal (who was asked to say a prayer at an inaugural event for Pres. Obama); the growth in popularity of the More Light Presbyterian movement which seeks the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA); and countless localalities break with national governing bodies to recognize the legitimacy of homosexuality — so much so that the Methodists almost broke into two denominations over the fight.

All I’m saying is, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist, on behalf of everyone, that marriage is “traditionally” between a man and a woman when not everyone believes that. And if you do, you cannot cannot cannot give rights and privileges to those who do and exclude those who do not. That is discrimination, pure and simple.


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