So once again, our country is wrapped up in another nationwide debate all stemming from the religious right. As the proposal for gay marriage (no pun intended) hits the Supreme Court today, cities across America have taken to the streets. Voices on both sides are finding microphones to express their thoughts to an eager crowd. They all wait for the decision from the court, and in my opinion, they all know the answer to this obvious civil rights case.
In my mind, there is no stopping it. It is basic civil equality. I’ve heard the argument against it where politicians or religious organizations repeat the statement that they believe that “Traditional marriage should be between a man and a woman”. There are several things that strike me about that statement.
First, it is an obvious cover statement to hide the fact that those people simply do not like or approve of homosexuals. It is the same mentality that children use on the playground. They change the rules for people they don’t like. I’m not sure why no one has publicly called them out for that once those words are uttered, but it seems that we are in a political culture where we give more rights and understanding to those who do not live in reality. I am breaking subject matter a little bit by referring to those same organizations and politicians who push for “Creationism”, but the principle is the same. We as a society are starting to adopt the mentality that people have the right to believe unjustly. Unfortunately, that right has started to drag the lives of everyone else in that society to their incorrect and outdated dogma.
If you’ve read previous articles, you know that I think anyone should believe what they want to believe, as long as it doesn't cause harm to anyone else. The founding fathers established a country supposedly free of religion and here in our modern day, the issues getting the most time and attention are the ones that right wing religious conservatives find to be important. Our country is being highjacked by those who disregard the First Amendment.
The factions against gay marriage are strictly religious. It has nothing to do with civics or biology. Let’s face it; marriage has really no establishment in love or personal feelings. Weddings from the beginning have always been a legal contract between families and the state. They were set up by the head of the house hold and the "bride and groom" had no say at all. It was America that led the charge to add emotion and love into that ceremony. And we did that by change. And the whole point of the US Constitution from the founding fathers point of view, was to make room for things they had not thought of. They were to allow to society to evolve into a place that they could not conceive. It is that spirit that makes marriage more than just a signature at the county clerk’s office. It seems strange that we would want to limit what love and emotion private citizens can bring to their own marriage, and who each can choose. And if we are all equal in the eyes of the law then, it is a simple to me: those who hide behind the words "marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman", reveals a lack of understanding of the principles of the Constitution and a lack of respect for the equality of people.
Moreover, the word “traditional” strikes me odd in this context. “Traditional” is a funny word when it comes to politics and government, things that traditionally follow what the people demand and grow with how each generation evolves. We as a species were not born into democracy, it developed over time. And traditionally, those things that people prioritize, understand, and ultimately care about have constantly changed. I mean, traditionally in this country we drank tea. But we drink coffee now because we broke from tea when we broke from the British back in those revolutionary days. Traditionally, the only property owners were White men, and we know what civil struggles it took to grow out of that. Now our traditional breakfast drink is coffee. At some point we can say “traditionally, all kinds of people can vote” (we’re still working on that one, apparently). And I hope very soon we will say, “Traditional marriage is between any two people in love”. Or even better, we wont have to qualify it to acknowledge that people are different than us.