Gay Marriage and Other Soapboxes

This might frustrate or confuse you, especially if you have had a similar raising as mine, but nonetheless, I think gay marriage should be legalized and I think it’s a form of prejudice to think it shouldn’t be allowed. To explain myself, if you haven’t clicked out of my blog and started writing letters beginning: “Dear Internet” yet, if you really take a step back from the religious qualms with homosexuality and take this issue for what it is, is it not the same thing as not allowing someone to eat in your restaurant because the color of their skin? I’m not saying that it’s exactly the same situation, but there are definitely vast comparisons.

From a national perspective: Marriage, as it is defined by our country, is a legal commitment, a bond. If a person chooses to break that bond, they seek the justice system’s rule and not a church’s. I believe that marriage is a bond between two people. If I decide to marry someone, but am opposed to the legalities of the U.S.’s system, I don’t think that discounts my bond, whether or not it is recognized by the government. If I was in an African culture and didn’t want to jump over the broomstick (a traditional African marraige ceremony) with my mate, would it make my bond any less? Do Americans have the right to scoff at other cultures that choose to express their bonds in different ways than ours? Only a fool would say so.

Perhaps it’s the area of the country I grew up in, the racist family members that I still have that consider African-Americans to be lower, or perhaps it just the fact that I choose to follow a teacher who believes in fair treatment of all, no matter what people choose to judge them as, but I believe denying any group of people a right that is given willingly to others just because of an opinion is not acceptable. A store owner in the early 1950’s may have had the opinion that African-Americans were not fit to shop in the same store as whites, and a political leader today may have the opinion that same-sex couples are not fit for the legal bond of marriage, but does that make it right? Absolutely not.

Separation of church and state is one of the biggest blessings in our country (think of the horrors of theocracies of Iran this past year), but I feel like we all too often forget that not everyone in our country thinks the same way others do, and they don’t deserve to be repressed just because people may think it’s wrong or icky. A certificate of marriage is a legal document that should be given to those who choose to identify themselves that way: legally bonded to another.

From a Christian perspective: For those of my friends that hold tightly to the belief that God doesn’t recognize certain types of marriages (gay, unscriptural divorce, remarried adulterers), I have to ask why care whether or not the legal system of the United States recognizes same-sex marriages? I may not agree with the opinion that God doesn’t recognize certain types of marriages, but if that is the main arguing point (that it’s not marriage as defied by God) then why aren’t you just as adamant about creating and propitiating laws about divorce and remarriage? Is it just because it’s more socially acceptable to be against gay marriage and the fight against divorce will never end in a result you like?

If God does not recognize such marriages, isn’t that his business and not ours? Why spend so much energy and effort keeping a group of people from having this legal document that will help them at the time of death or sickness, if nothing else? Is it just because people would rather not see it publicly (like the shop owner in the 1950’s)? That is the essence of prejudice.

From a “Vaguely 26-yr-old, middle-class, white, heterosexual woman” perspective: This blog post may seem odd if you don’t come from the same conservative religious background that I come from, but this idea and perspective is new to me and I’m just beginning to realize how wrong I’ve been all this time. I told a friend a while back that I realized one day that my attitude towards homosexuals was awful and not at all mimicking the God who I worshiped three times a week. Then it dawned on me that this might be PART of what Paul the Apostle felt after he had persecuted Christians for all those years. Granted, I’ve never killed anyone, much less killed someone because of their sexual orientation, but my heart was in the same place. That apologetic zeal that Paul felt, that spurred the thoughts and writings of the majority of the New Testament is the same attitude that I feel towards the homosexual community now. I am deeply apologetic and I hope that somehow I can help heal the persecution that people have done in the name of God.

Legalizing gay marriage will not, as some on the far right claim, make our nation more gay. But what will the impact on the younger generation seeing a group of people repressed for no logical reasons? Will generations after us wonder what took so long for equal rights to be allowed to homosexuals the way that I wonder about the civil rights or the women’s rights movements? Again, I probably think of racial issues more than someone who was raised in the northern part of our country, but I often ask myself if I lived in that time period, would I have stood up for Civil Rights even though I would probably be scorned and hated by my family and religion? I usually like to think that I would, and honestly, I believe the principle is the same here, so I have to choose to stand up and voice my opinion even if there aren’t many people reading it.

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