Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Reply: "Let marriage be marriage, but don't base US law on a religious rite."

In reply to "American Power: Gay is the New Black?"

As I said in the Wingnuts and Moonbats post, "My thoughts on Homosexual Marriage," as well as the link Nero Dr Douglas provided above, where I respond to his "Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right" post ("Wingnuts and Moonbats: Is there a right to marry whomever one wishes?"), I agree that the suffering of blacks under slavery & Jim Crow is far worse than the suffering of Gays in 2008 (or ever). This is a straw man, in that few if anyone is saying otherwise...

But that gays suffer less does not mean that gays do not suffer, and the same inalienable rights cover both groups.

I don't even know that many gays want to redefine marriage, if by "marriage" you mean the religious rite presided over by a celebrant of your chosen faith, and blessed by the God you worship. I have heard little of homosexuals demanding that a particular church marry them. So I don't really think it's about marriage, at all...

It's about rights & privileges under US law, which are currently bestowed on the basis of the word "marriage," but not necessarily the religious rite of marriage.

To the extent that domestic partners or folks civilly united receive the same rights & privileges as married people, I have no objection, & I don't really think many others on my side of the issue do, either. To the extent that they laws that oversee each are different, "marriage," the word, makes all the difference. Add "or domestic partnership" to every law that gives a legal right to marriage, and most--the vast majority, I'd guess--will stop pushing for gay marriage.

It isn't about redefining the religious rite of marriage, or what homosexual folks call their united bliss or significant other, but about treating citizens as equals under the law. Whether homosexuals get the rights by calling their unions marriages, or by changing the law, so that marriage remains marriage, but civil union or domestic partnership affords a couple all of the same rights & privileges as marriage, those citizens should be granted those rights.

As I've said before, I'd like to see the word "marriage"--a religious rite, performed by a religious celebrant--stricken from every local, state, & federal law, and replaced by the words "civil union"--a legal agreement between two people in love, officiated over by any individual recognized by the state, including clergy, judges, ship captains, etc.... Let marriage be marriage, but don't base US law on this or any other religious rite. Doing so tarnishes both the religiosity of "marriage" and the freedom of religious belief, embodied in the separation of church & state as espoused by several of our founders, inherent in America.

Posted 11/19/2008 04:07 PM (American Power Blog time)

Relevant Links:
RealClearPolitics - Articles - Is Gay the New Black?
Anna Quindlen: The Loving Decision - The Daily Beast

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