I may lose some readers (not that I have many) and I may gain some readers because of what I’m about to write. But I really don’t care. I support same sex marriage. Sure, I have a gay brother, but that has absolutely no effect on my views. The underlying issue is equality under the Constitution. This country believes in equal rights for all citizens. The Constitution doesn’t care about skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. While it doesn’t say anything about marriage, I firmly believe that banning same sex marriage, regardless of whether or not it is a state or federal issue is unconstitutional according to the federal Constitution.
A few states offer civil unions for same sex couples. These are not the same as marriage and do not give same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Massachusetts was the first state to allow same sex marriage. It took a lawsuit that ended with judges, not activists, declaring that the state constitution does not explicitly deny same sex couples the right to marry in Massachusetts. California was the next state to have something similar happen, and most recently, Connecticut did the same.
This is not a religious issue. The United States offers freedom of religion. It means you can practice any religion you like and that the government will not force certain religious views on you. Marriage as we know it in our culture is primarily of a Judeo-Christian tradition. Man meets woman. They fall in love. They get married. They have children. It’s simple. However, that comes from a religious viewpoint. Our country offers a separation of Church and State. Religious issues do not belong in the hands of the government. The issue of whether or not same sex marriage is moral is a religious issue. The issue of whether or not same sex marriage should be legal is an equal rights issue.
People opposed to same sex marriage offer a whole slew of reasons why it should be illegal. Unfortunately, they are all based on religion. I have heard things as silly as “it would force churches to perform marriage between two men”. This is simply not true. I was raised Catholic. According to our current laws, a Jewish heterosexual couple can get married. However, if they walk into a Catholic church, the church will not allow them to marry. Religions have their own rules for what can and cannot go on. We are not looking to force religions to change their views. They can continue hating gays all they want and continue to perform only heterosexual marriages. That is within their legal rights. We are looking to force state marriage, performed by a representative of the state, not the Church. There is a big difference there. I was married in a Catholic church by a Catholic priest. I had the option of getting married by a justice of the peace. This would have given me the legal rights and benefits of being married, but not the religious rights and benefits (which are mostly intangible). The rights that gays want are those legal rights from the state and federal government.
Currently, because this issue is left up to the states to decide (as I do feel marriage should be), same sex couples married in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or California are only given the rights in their respective state. They do not get the same rights from the federal government that heterosexual couples receive. In my opinion, this is unconstitutional.
I have heard some crazy reasons for being against same sex marriage. The problem with all of these reasons is that they are either based on religion or based on some crazy idea that giving a subset of the population more rights will take away rights of other members of the same population. The latter is simply not true. You are still within your freedom of speech to say that same sex couples are immoral. You are within your freedom of religion to not allow same sex marriages to take place in your church. You are well within your rights to hold your own personal beliefs on what is and what is not marriage. However, these beliefs should not be present in law in this country. Offering equal rights to all citizens is part of the reason this country was created. Denying rights to a subset of the population is simply unconstitutional.
If you live in California, vote no on Proposition 8. If you live in any other state, vote against any efforts to define marriage as that between a man and a woman. In a country that touts freedom as our biggest reason for being, it is sad to see that such a large population of people wish to remove freedoms from others.
For more pathetically ridiculous reason why same sex marriage should be banned, you need not look any further than the wonderful people of California (at least those in favor of Prop 8).
I leave you with this quote. You’ve probably seen it before.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Reflect on that for a while before commenting.