Tag Archives: gay marriage

Who are these Guys?

Who are these moral authorities?

 

I was watching the responses to the passage of New York’s Same-sex marriage bill, and I started to wonder a few things. Normally this gets me in trouble, and if you know me, you know why that is, but this time I think the issue is a little bigger than a prank somewhere.

Why do religious leaders think they have authority over the sexuality of their followers? Who gave them that authority? Where did it come from? Why do people obey it? Last but not least, why is it when these leaders make those very stringent rules, the same leaders are the ones that violate them most egregiously?

We’ve all seen the church scandals on the web and in the papers. First this evangelist and then that one is accused of either sleeping with the wife of some church official or secretary, or they’ve been seeing some male prostitute for homosexual favors or doing drugs, or yada, yada, yada. The Church scandals are so ubiquitous that nobody is even making jokes about it on late night TV anymore. It’s pretty bad when even a comedian is bored with your crimes and misbehaviors.

These are the guys who have the nerve to protest when two consenting adults, of sound mind and body, want legal recognition of their relationship like free and upstanding citizens. When two people no longer want to hide their affection and choose to share their lives in a mature and responsible fashion, shouldn’t we applaud? We should be happy that they respect marriage so much that they are willing to fight for it, come hell or high water.

The so-called protectors of family values are pretty much self-appointed as far as I can tell. I can’t find any real basis for their assumption of this authority, other than them pointing to things written by their own authors, which is a circular argument and does nothing to prove anything. Yet they claim the right to enforce their views on everything from sexual behavior to reproductive medicine.

Unless you are a practitioner of Tantra, sexuality and religion are two separate things, no matter how many times you scream “Oh God!!” a night. With the much publicized failures of these moral authorities to follow their own rules, they have more or less abrogated any claims they may have had to protecting the morality of we, the sad and very disgusted populace. If they can’t behave according to their own rules, why should we?

I don’t know how or when exactly religious authorities decided to extend their stringent rules and regulations into our bedrooms, but it needs to stop. It has been going on for centuries and nowadays with the internet we see their failures all too clearly. We need to really take a step back and actually look at what is going on. We need to ask the question: why are you telling us what is right when you do everything wrong?

Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita

Congratulations New York!

I was so happy to learn over the weekend that New York has passed legislation that makes gay marriage legal. We know and support people who live and work in that area and from what we are hearing from our friends is that many people are very happy this law passed.

Unfortunately, passing this law has no been easy. New York tried to pass it in 2007 and 2009, where the Senate let it die after it made it through the Assembly. And from all reports, this law almost did not pass this time through either. After much debate and giving allowances for religious organizations that are against gay marriage, the law passed late on Friday.

So let’s make a big noise and congratulation New York for passing a law that brings our nation one step closer to the ideal that we all should have equal rights. Eventually the rest of the country will catch up.

A Chink in DOMA’s Armor?

The argument for keeping same sex marriage illegal in many states, including Wisconsin (although we have more problems with Walker in charge than just this) is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Last week we may have seen the first chink against DOMA and defending it on a legal status. President Obama announced that he was telling the US Attorney not to defend the US DOMA and declared it “indefensible” and even parts“unconstitutional.”

Granted how Obama is declaring DOMA against the law is not really a legal standing but one of political opinion, but the fact that the president is stating that same sex marriages should be considered a legal joining is a good thing. It is one more little victory for gay marriage which is one more step for real equality in the US.

Republicans are still trying to defend DOMA in court and are still screaming that this is the way marriage was intented, but this is 2011 not 1776 and our views have changed since then. Even if we look to more modern history, such as the innocent 1950s, we find the our views of marriage, relationships and sexuality have changed. The recognition of such change across America and the fact that there are 13 states where a civil union is recognized, including our nation’s capitol. Two of those states are our neighbors: Iowa and Illinios.

But here, in Wisconsin, we are still a DOMA state with only limited rights for gay relationships and no recognition of marriage. That will hopefully soon be changing with Obama standing up and saying that the federal version of DOMA is unconstitutional, which in turn should invalidate the one here as well.

Personally, I like Lorraine Devon Wilke’s words: I have been married for two decades and my marriage does not neeed defending. Thank you Mrs. Wilke! I have not been married as long as you, but my marriage does not need defending either. And to take that thought one more step, I fail to see what anyone else’s marriage has to do with mine, include gay marriage. No one else can change what my marraige is.

Why I think gay and lesbian people should be able to get legally married

I know that this is a topic that seems to come up frequently, and maybe it is a bit over done, but I have to get this off my chest. That is especially after hearing a friend say it was “unChristian” to be gay. No matter how you feel about gay people, the simple truth is that they are Americans and they deserve the same freedoms that we all do. Keeping them from marrying each other is not going to stop the fact that gay and lesbian people exist.

Frankly, I do not believe that being gay is a “choice.” That God, Goddess, Allah, Deity, Mother Nature, or whatever you believe in made gay people gay and straight people straight and that it was on purpose. Gays are not an abomination, are not sinners, are not evil, or any of the other Biblical BS that is floating around out there. As far as that goes, there are more rules to how straight couples should behave in the Bible than there are for gay couples, so I think that says that God trusts gay couples more than straight couples.

Anyway, back on topic here. First of all, over the years, marriage has evolved. First, if a man could buy a woman, she was his wife. Then it was if a father had a dowry to get rid of his daughter, she could become a wife. There were and are arranged marriages, and forced marriages, and marriages of obligation. Most marriages in the US now are voluntary and for love, which is where I am going. The concept of marriage has evolved over the years, and it should evolve again.

Then there is the fact that for no other reason than the most popular religions in America claim that gay marriage is wrong are there laws against it. The Constitution does not allow government to make laws against religion, so why should it allow laws based solely on religious rhetoric? And for those of you who think, “yeah, we have separation of church and state” someone needs to show me that, because I haven’t seen it yet for all the times that I have read the Constitution.

Finally, there is the fact that marriage in the US really has nothing to do with religion. The state that you get married in validates the marriage. A ceremony can take place in a church, but without that piece of paper from the state, the marriage is not legal and the couple doesn’t get any of the benefits of marriage. Therefore, religion should have no ruling on who should get married and who shouldn’t.

What’s the fuss over Proposition 8?

The California courts have overturned Proposition 8, which banned gay and lesbian couples from marrying legally. I can only say that I’m glad somebody saw sense in what has become a fanatically charged issue. Of course this isn’t the end of it, naturally. We are looking at years of legal challenges in the courts of Appeals and then in the Supreme Court before this issue can be laid to rest one way or the other.

Every single challenge to same-sex marriage is based on religious traditions, not legal precedent. Whether it is Mormon, Baptist, Muslim, Lutheran, Catholic or any other denomination, all their objections are based on their spiritual viewpoint and history. Most of the arguments against same-sex marriage that I have been reading tend to quote the Old Testament of the Bible and some are quite extreme (I won’t say which denomination it was, but they were quite vindictive.) in their reactions.

This is not a religious issue, it is a civil rights issue, and from that perspective I can see absolutely no reason to deny any couple the exact same rights and protections held by any more traditional couple. Frankly, the same-sex couples I know have been together longer than the heterosexual couples I know. They are just as loving, as supportive of their partners as any male-female bonding, and in some cases more so. Perhaps because they don’t have to deal with the problems of male-to-female translation the rest of us have to work through.

This is not to say that same-sex marriages are better, that would be ridiculous. There are the same issues of bickering, finance and the same rates of abuse or control that hetero couples go through. (On that note let me stress that if you are in an abusive relationship with ANYONE, get out of it as fast as you can. There are people that will help you. No one deserves to be abused in any way shape or form.)

How can allowing same-sex marriage hurt anyone else? It cannot harm a marriage within a traditional Church organization, since ninety per cent of established churches do not recognize homosexuals and lesbians as members. Therefore these marriages would be outside their purview and not subject to their rules in the first place. If a Church doesn’t allow same-sex marriages, that is their right within their own organization; it does not allow them to force that view on any one outside their organization. The Bible is not a legal text, nor does it form part of the Constitution.

It can’t conceivably harm insurance companies, since if these individuals were in a heterosexual relationship, they would be still providing insurance for two people instead of just one, regardless of the gender of the beneficiary. And the couple in question would still be paying their premiums like everyone else. Same policy, same costs, same benefits, where’s the problem?

Hospitals and medical providers still would have to allow decisions to be made by the patient’s spouse. Let me say right now that it is not the place of an institution to decide who the patient allows to make decisions in their care in case of incapacity or illness; that right is solely up to the patient.

Socially, allowing same-sex marriages would take away an area of instability by granting protection to a group that has been at risk of persecution for centuries.  Things would change, certainly, but for the most part it wouldn’t affect most of the rest of the population.

Sexual issues and religion have been a sore spot for many, many years and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. I have always felt very strongly that sex is one topic where a church establishment has no authority. What happens in my bedroom is between me and my lover, and no one else has any right to say anything about it. What happens in your bedroom is none of my business.  Enough said.

The entire issue, to my way of thinking can be summed up as follows:

If you don’t approve of gay marriage, don’t be in one.

 If you do approve, lend a hand with the legal fight for those who respect marriage so much that they are willing to fight for it.

Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita.