Marriage Equality

I’ve posted about it before, but the issue is actually being debated in Rhode Island’s General Assembly as I write this. Yesterday after work, I attended a marriage equality rally held by some of the students at the college. They had various speakers that included a gay Catholic priest (not Roman Catholic), some students, and some faculty. I didn’t get to stay to the end as I had to get home to make dinner for my wife, but it was a great rally.

You see, I work at a Catholic college. The Catholic Church has been known to be against marriage equality, especially the Diocese of Providence’s Bishop Tobin. The reason is that the Church defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. The Church has an outdated view of marriage as being for the purpose of procreation, which obviously cannot happen between same sex couples. They claim that allowing same sex couples to marry destroys the “sanctity” of marriage. While the Church might be arguing this, they fail to consider that a strong division of church and state exists in this country and was defined in the Constitution to prevent any single religion from biasing laws. The reason for that is we also have written into our Constitution a freedom to practice whatever religion you want. My religion says that anyone should be allowed to be joined in a civil marriage. You see, marriage equality does not change the Church’s view on marriage. It does not force the Church to marry same sex couples. It simply makes all people equals in the eyes of the government.

While at this rally, a small group of four or five students gathered across the street. I can only assume they were anti-equality as they were not joining us. They carried signs that read “Born Normal” and “Straight Pride”. There was also a longer one that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense (not that the other two made any sense). You see, I am pretty sure that the majority of the people at the rally, myself and one of the organizers included, were straight. I am proud to be straight. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be proud to be gay or bisexual or transsexual. It just means I am proud to be who I am. What does being straight have to do with being anti-equality? It was as if they were saying that if you are straight, you should be on the other side of the street with them. And how about “Born Normal”? What is “normal”? “Normal”, as far as I’m concerned, does not exist. Everyone is different in some way. Some of us lack critical thinking skills, like those skills required to realize that signs that say “Born Normal” or “Straight Pride” make absolutely no sense. I just kind of chuckled to myself at these students who were clearly ignorant.

Anyway, the rally seemed to gain a lot of support from the people driving by, though I have to wonder if they were honking their horns in support of marriage equality or if they were just honking their horns because there was a rally of some kind. One guy driving by actually yelled out “It’s time!” That gave me some hope. You see, he didn’t look like the type of person to believe in marriage equality. Yes, I am stereotyping the typical ignorant Rhode Islander. I probably shouldn’t be. All walks of life. All types of people believe in equality. I can only hope that our state government also believes in equality.

2 thoughts on “Marriage Equality”

  1. The Church’s view on marriage is not “outdated.” It’s ignorant. Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon.
    Awesome post, Jim. Hard to believe that in 2011 Americans are still struggling for each other’s respect.

  2. Perhaps it’s both ignorant and outdated. You see, the purpose of marriage was to procreate and still been seen as good in the eyes of the Church. The purpose of marriage today, at least in this country (and probably the rest of the world), is actually tax and government benefits. It has little to do with declaring your everlasting love for someone. You can do that without forking over $35 to the city and signing a document that sits in city hall.

    I should probably turn this into a post, but I used to be religious. I used to be a practicing Catholic. I started to change due to my Catholic high school. Not because they were strict, discriminatory, and hateful, but because they taught open mindedness and free thinking (that same high school may have changed, the principal we had was young and on the liberal side). I can understand the Church not changing their traditions. Sure, keep it as it is. The government is not forcing you. But the Church actively fighting marriage equality, as they are here in RI, is just silly. Religion has no place in the law, another thing I learned in Catholic school.

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