The topic of gay marriage has apparently struck a nerve in the US. The topic is entirely emotional and irrational. Even people who don't believe in discrimination against gays support gay marriage bans. This is under the banner of 'sanctity' of the heterosexual marriage.
Fact: Civil Union is NOT equal to Marriage.
We all know this on some intuitive level - but, it is also true on a LEGAL level.
"At the most, civil unions would convey only the approximately 350 state benefits of marriage, while marriage would also - potentially - convey about 1,000 federal marriage benefits that many consider essential for financial security."
Most people that I know that are FOR Civil Unions but AGAINST Gay Marriage are also people that believe in equal rights for all. They would be appalled to know that Civil Unions don't confer these rights. So why are they so against some unnamed technicality that nobody can put a finger on??? The closest they can come to it is 'sanctity' of the marriage....
Is it *really* about sanctity? If it was, why isn't there a push for a constitutional amendment to ban divorce? Divorce negates a heterosexual marriage. It has a direct impact on heterosexual marriages. What about strip clubs? Is there a national amendment to outlaw strip clubs? There are strip clubs that offer an 'eggs and legs' breakfast. If this is your husband's favorite breakfast place, THIS is ruining the sanctity of your marriage. But, still...no sign of anyone against that, is there? What about spouse abuse? Have you noticed any increased funding to programs that address spousal abuse? Doesn't this contribute to many heterosexual divorces? And ADULTERY. Where is the federal law that makes adultery a felony? Adultery is a DIRECT violation of the sanctity of marriage. But, no...no laws are even considered about adultery. Why not? Aren't you concerned about the sanctity of your marriage?????
So what are they so afraid of? Social change.
Social change is the hardest change to implement. It can't be voted on. It can't be bought. And each person's heart and mind is an individual battleground. What we're doing is trying to change how people view marriage *and* how people view gays. This is not easy and this is why it gets so emotional. It also explains why people who don't believe in discrimination against gays still support marriage bans. What they're truly against is redefining their own cultural ideas. THAT's how it affects them.
But, is that re-definition really necessary?
Take a deep breath and think about this for a minute. If you truly believe that there is something sacred and special about your wedding conferred on you by God... then isn't there a big difference between YOUR church wedding and a marriage by the Justice of the Peace? Isn't one of those two more 'special'...'holy'...'sanctified'....??? Isn't THIS what you're trying to cling onto? Well...gay marriage doesn't change that. Not one bit.
Remember that difference in your mind. Church wedding vs JP marriage. There IS a difference to you, isn't there? Isn't that what you *really* don't want to change? Fine. No one is asking you to change that. However.... a heterosexual couple getting married by a JP has LEGAL rights that a Civil Union does not allow. A ban on gay marriage is a law that prevents gays from having the legal rights of a JP marriage. That's discrimination. And discrimination is something that's bad. You know that. It's probably something that you're against. You don't care who I sleep with. You don't care who I live with. You don't care about anything I do ... as long as I don't try to take that image of a 'holy church wedding with God's blessing' that is sooooo special to you from your mind. Keep it. I'll even make you a crown out of elbow macaroni and spray paint it gold for the ceremony. Have your holy high ground. Just allow me the same LEGAL rights. It's only fair. I work. I pay taxes. I vote. Just like you. I should have the same legal recourse to see my loved one in the hospital, will my property, and pay taxes as a couple. The marriage ban that just passed in 11 out of 11 states prevents all that. The Defense of Marriage Act prevents all that. Do you really feel that strongly against Mary seeing Julie in the hospital? Of course not. You don't care about that, do you?
We're talking legal rights here. Equal legal rights. Preventing Constitutional Amendments that legalize and codify discrimination. You know discrimination and inequality are wrong.
Gay marriage does not add a chapter to the Bible. It does not require your Minister or Priest to perform any gay marriages. It does not change or affect any of the tenets of your faith. And it does not affect any CHURCH weddings. It prevents discrimination.
Posted by BlueWolf on November 4, 2004 02:36 PM