President Obama’s recent announcement supporting gay marriage has the self-righteous, religio-zealots in a stew. All kinds of (overwhelmingly) smug white men and women have crawled out of the woodwork to condemn the President and offer their small-minded views on legislating morality and writing prejudice and discrimination into State or even the US Constitution.
Having several homosexual friends in various stages of relationship, I have had many conversations on this topic over the years.
There is a simple solution to this problem, which I see as both an equality issue as well as one of separation of church and state. Simply make every “contracted” relationship be a civil union in the eyes of the law, with equal rights, protections, and responsibilities for everyone regardless of the gender of the participants. Keep “marriage” in the purview of the church. If a couple wants to be joined in a non-religious ceremony, they get their Civil Union from a JP or other state-approved legal authority. If the couple wants to be “married” in the traditional sense – and if their church allows them to do so – then they can do as is done now and have a religious ceremony presided over by a member of the clergy. In the latter case, a couple really gets a “twofer” with a marriage (in the eyes of the church) and a Civil Union (in the eyes of the law) together. In both cases, you have equal rights and protections under the law.
What I can’t understand is why it’s so important for certain clergy, politicians, and discriminating members of the public to keep this issue alive as a “wedge” to cause more division in our society. Even worse is when self-righteous politicians decide to write prejudice and discrimination into their state constitutions.
There are far, far more important issues facing us today that desperately need the attention and action of our government than trying to discriminate against and marginalize a segment of society in the name of “righteousness.”