Mom and dad were ‘married.’ They stood before a Justice of the peace and exchanged vows with one another. They proclaimed their undying love for one another. They exchanged rings. And by the ‘power’ vested in him, were pronounced husband and wife. A photo of the newlyweds was taken and they went home together.
What actually took place during the marriage ceremony and what resulted? Did they have to get a deity to bless their joining? No, the ‘power’ vested in the presiding Justice was given by the State, not a deity. Did they speak of any sexual activity between them as the basis of their marriage? No, they knew the roles of their sexual activities and there was never a question as to who did what. Did they have to worry if the other would be able to come into a hospital room to be by their spouse’s side should that ever become an issue? No, the benefit of a spouse is understood to be there at anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Did they have to worry if they could be parents?
Afterwards they probably had some differing opinions about being parents, but it never crossed their mind that they couldn’t raise a family due to government regulations and restrictions. Did they have to worry if their marriage license would be recognized elsewhere other than in which the state they got married? No, it was a viable document granted by a credentialed official, thus binding throughout the world. Did they have to be concerned with the future of the other spouse should anything happen if one were left alone? No, they had no concern about such things as it was a non-issue.
With all the controversy surrounding the ideas of marriage versus civil unions, I felt it was my personal privilege to include this topic in my journal on my own domain. I do not intend to offend anyone, but hopefully to shed some extra light which may not be considered otherwise to the importance of legalizing gay marriages.
Is marriage completely defined anywhere outside of ‘Christian-based’ circles and are there different interpretations? Is a marriage strictly a “Christian” institution afforded only to those who follow the scriptures? If so, then Buddhists, Atheists, nor anyone who doesn’t follow Christ cannot marry and are hereby granted a legal divorce (their marriage was never legal anyway?). Is marriage a right of every human being? Should everyone be eligible for marriage? (I should be so lucky! haha)
Some gay couples have taken advantage of Vermont’s “Civil Union” answer to have a state recognize their relationships. However, the “Union” is non-transferable across state lines. Is Vermont the Gay State by default? Heavens no! California, Florida, Texas, New York… all these have larger gay populations than Vermont. Why then, is there only one state willing to afford gay couples even a “Civil Union”? And does the Civil Union mean the same thing as marriage?
The U.S. Supreme Court, in their recent ruling regarding the Texas sodomy laws, has in essence validated gay relationships. They chose to leave the bedroom to the conduct and behavior of the consenting adults residing within. However, even this is a far cry from the benefits that a government recognized ‘marriage’ provides.
Consider the questions at the beginning of this entry. The marriage recognized by a state is not required to be recognized by God, as this would enable a conflict of Church and State (may that never be!). Thus, the Church has its view of marriage as an institution and ordinance spiritually rooted in their respective faiths. However, all faiths do not believe the same. Thus the government should provide an answer to this problem.
No, I am not proposing marriage to anyone specifically (not yet, it’s not legal for me to do so to anyone I am interested in marrying!). But here is my answer to the whole gay/hetero marriage issue.
If a couple wishes to marry who are seeking a ‘spiritually grounded’ union, the Baptists or Catholics for example, then their ‘marriage’ is recognized by the State and their respective religious affiliations as they see fit. We are not asking religious organizations to give us their blessing- we don’t need it.
If a couple, non-spiritually minded, chooses to marry, the State (religious affiliates are not involved at all) has an obligation to recognize their marriage with the same fortitude as they do of a traditional heterosexual marriage – thus permitting gay marriages. Religious organizations will remain judge and jury over the way they choose to recognize ‘marriages’ within their own bounds, but the Federal Government would recognize all marriages for all practical purposes.
The word Marriage and the U.S. Government
The word ‘marriage’ is used throughout U.S. and State laws. The term is not “civil union.” It’s “marriage.” Thus, awarding a gay couple a “civil union” is sidestepping the benefits of the letter of the law. Thus gay “marriage” must be recognized as a “marriage” under the law, and not a “union.” It would be hideous to have to alter ALL the laws regarding “marriage” and footnote them with “civil unions.” Thus, the word “marriage” is vitally important when it comes to gays. Civil Unions are not even as important as “common law marriages.”
As a single gay male who cherishes the comfort and stability of a relationship, I am personally disturbed that should I meet the man of my dreams and fall in love, that I cannot be granted the same benefits which my heterosexual friends who are “legally” married according to the S\state enjoy. It’s no big deal people! Being gay is not contagious. If we are married and recognized legally, it is not going to be the end of the world! What’s the big deal?
Now, can I get married please?