My friend Erin, who blogs under the moniker Queen of Spain, has a birthday today. She has asked her blogging friends, as a gift to her, to blog about marriage inequality for gay and lesbian couples. Well, Erin... here's to you.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you already know where I come down on this issue. I am a supporter of the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry and reap all of the benefits (and penalties) thereunto pertaining. It is a sad thing in a country where so many seemingly pious people constantly scream about the decline in the commitment to marriage, for those same people to be so steadfastly opposed to two people who desire, almost more than anything else, to make a legal commitment to the person that they love.
I understand that people come at the issue of same-sex marriage from different perspectives. I get that there are those who have religious arguments against it (even though many of them are hollow). I understand there is the "what about the children" faction, and I understand the "slippery slope" group, who wonder what gay marriage might lead to. I'm a fairly rational man... I understand that not everyone shares my perspectives, but here is my drift:
I think that marriage is a good thing.
I think that married couples make stronger, more committed parents. I think that the children of strong two-parent families have better social, academic, and economic opportunities than those from single-parent households. Furthermore, I don't think that the gender of those stable, loving, committed parents means a thing.
What bothers me in so much of this argument, is that so many people spend so much time shouting that gay marriage will somehow weaken, violate, cheapen, diminish, or destroy heterosexual marriage. Please! If the gay couple down the street from us are married, it has absolutely no effect on my marriage. None. Zero. Zilch.
What bothers me even more than that is the religious argument. As I have said in other places, Jesus of Nazareth, whom we call Christ, never, in his three years of earthly ministry, NEVERsaid anything about homosexuality. Never mentioned it. Go on, read the Gospels. I'll wait. Oh, and while you are reading, please note that Jesus does mention divorce, but I reckon you'll notice that very few of the so-called "faithful" ever spend any time talking about that. Interesting. Could it be that some of my fellow Christians are just seeking religious codification of their own bigotry?
As for the "slippery slope", "what about the children?" people... all I can say is that these people make the very same arguments that they made a generation ago (and when Mrs Gunfighter and I got married... shout out to my mother in law!)about interracial marriage. Turns out that despite their screaming, interracial marriage did not force the earth off it's axis, and it didn't trigger the apocalypse. Who knew, eh?
I say let churches block marriages all they want to. They already do it in some cases, because of the way one part of a couple worships; they do it because one member of the couple was previously married; churches do it for all sorts of reasons. They have that prerogative... but our government shouldn't.
Our government shouldn't be in the business of defining relationships. Our government shouldn't be in the business of defining marriage, our government shouldn't be dabbling in the affairs of our taking the side of churches... including mine. Our government shouldn't be in the business of codifying bigotry, or of inhibiting citizens from exercising their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness so long as no one else's rights, life, liberty, or happiness is directly hurt by their actions.
Happy Birthday, Erin!