The Supreme Court’s historic ruling, which overturned the law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages and all but struck down California’s Prop 8, has had me really thinking about why I am adamantly in favor of allowing same sex marriage.
First of all, when it gets down to it, nowadays, marriage is more of a legal agreement and commitment between two people. It essentially means things such as their finances are now one, their property is communal, etc. They also have certain other rights, such as the ability to be on one another’s health insurance, visit in the hospital, and so on. All of these things are extremely important, and, when you get down to it, they all have to do with the law and various legal rights.
Many people want to believe that religion has a major role in marriage, but that is ONLY if people choose to have religion, and subsequently the church, enter into things. However, this does not need to be the case. I know of two different couples who got married by the Justice of the Peace in a courtroom. They never had a rabbi, priest, or any other person of the cloth marry them, and they never had a ceremony in a church, temple, or any other place of worship. They did, however, have pretty awesome parties after the fact. I would also like to point out that a church ceremony, in and of its self, does not officially marry you. You must have obtained a marriage license from the courts first. Therefore, religious beliefs simply cannot dictate something like marriage that is more closely tied in with laws than religion.
Since I mentioned religion, I would also like to point out here that this country has a very deliberate separation of Church and State that the Founding Fathers specifically put into place so that religion would not dictate the laws of our country. Therefore, the religious beliefs that some people hold, and have a right to hold, do not get to influence our laws, no matter how much they would like them to. Since there is no state sanction religion, no particular religion should have the right to determine what the laws of our nation will be. As it is, within the same religion, many Christians do not agree on the issue of same sex marriage. I know of some who are vehemently opposed and some who are strongly in favor.
Second of all, in this day in age, no one should be treated like a second class citizen, and that’s what we have been doing to gay people for far too long. Why should two consenting adults be denied the rights I previously mentioned? When you start denying one group of people rights that a majority of others have that is when you walk into the murky waters of discrimination, which is something our country has a sordid history of.
Think about this: there was a point in very recent history where we, as a country, told African-Americans and other people of color that they could not use the same bathrooms, water fountains, schools, etc as the rest of us could. They were unfairly segregated and treated as an inferior minority. That’s why we had the Civil Rights Movement. Low and behold: here we are again, wanting to tell one group of people that they are somehow inferior and not worthy of the same basic rights the rest of us enjoy.
Finally, I also do not believe that allowing same sex marriage is going to lead to things like state sanction polygamy, incestual marriages, man-animal marriages, or any like that. To suggest such a thing is what they would call in a college level Logic class either 1) a logical fallacy, or 2) a leap of logic. Allowing 2 people of the same sex is not like allowing the other things I mentioned. No one who has argued for gay marriage has tried to suggest that marriage be opened to anyone and anything desired. They have only argued that TWO CONSENT ADULTS be allowed to be married. That. Is. All.