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.