I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and after writing this post on Babble about Dick Cheney’s stance on the issue I decided to go a little further.
Here’s my question: how is it that this is an issue at all?
Let me explain. I think anyone who wants to get married should be able to do so. Radical, I know. Because who cares? The borscht-belt-esque joke of “if gay people want to suffer the same as us straights, I say go ahead” isn’t all that funny but that’s right. Please. Get married. Have a party. If it’s someplace fun, invite me. If I can get a babysitter, I’m there.
I have a friend who says that she can’t understand how anyone can be against gays getting married. What’s the problem, she says. My answer is always the same: religion. At the core of every gay marriage protester is “God Gave Adam Eve, Not Steve”. When politicians say that they believe that “marriage is between a man and a woman” but are in favor of civil unions, they mean that they don’t care if people get together and reap the benefits of a “union”, but they don’t want that union to be recognized by their church. (This is President Barack Obama’s stated position, although I personally think that’s just what he thinks he needs to say politically.)
So here’s my point. Why is it an issue what a religious organzation does? Wasn’t the United States founded, in part, on the “separation of church and state”? With that in mind, isn’t it weird that religious people have any say at all when it comes to this matter? If you get married before a Justice of the Peace, that’s a legal marriage. End of story. There is no reason why that marriage can’t be between two men or two women. Whether or not you have a church/temple/mosque wedding is irrelevant.
One way to go, of course, would be to pass a law saying that religious marriages are no longer recognized by the government. THAT would go over big.