While there are always vociferous and vicious attacks against any gay rights legislation from some fundamentalist religious quarters, I think most Americans and most Marylanders are perplexed and don’t know what we should do. Many, if not most, heterosexuals in our nation grew up in Christian, Muslim or Jewish homes where marriage was between a man and woman. Where homosexuality was over there somewhere…someone who was a little “light in the loafers”…some form of aberration, or a way of avoiding the draft.
I think many just have difficulty thinking about sex between two men or two women together. The idea of same sex marriage is just too foreign for most people.
Do you think that is true? Now, maybe we should just take religion out of civil ceremonies for marriage. I mean if Valerie and I were to marry at City Hall, it would not be called a civil union, but being married through a civil ceremony. So, the idea of civil unions, I think, is just a strategy to make same sex marriage more palatable for the rest of us.
What do you think it would do to the fabric of society if gays and lesbians were allowed to be married in civil ceremonies? You can’t force a religion to perform marriages that they deem inappropriate, that violates their tenants. Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will not perform marriages between people of different faiths; others may not even perform marriages that cross racial or ethnic lines or when someone is divorced. It is their right.
If our state and nation allowed same sex marriage, no one could force a religious group to marry them or sanction them. Of course, there are a minority of religious institutions that would marry gays and lesbians. That is their right, also.
Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, best friends, acquaintances and cousins. They have children of their own, or through surrogates and adoption. They serve in the military and in all branches of public services. They defend us in court, serve our dinner, perform surgeries on our bodies, build our homes and are part of every facet of life.
Is their right to marry not a human right? A civil right? What would happen to us as a nation if they had the right to a civil marriage with all its protections? What has happened in Quebec, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Holland, Spain and South Africa where same sex couples are allowed to marry?
What are your thoughts?
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