Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let No Man Put Asunder

When I was growing up there were two ladies who lived behind us. I remember my mom talking to them while we weeded the flower garden. Both were nurses. Years later my parents told me they were lesbians. I had no clue as a kid. I just knew they were nice ladies. It was my first exposure to a relationship that wasn't "traditional" and it was a positive one.

Earlier this year I wrote about a couple of gents I met on the van heading to San Francisco airport. They'd come to California (from NY) to get married. I celebrated their joy because it was clear they were very much in love. Why shouldn't someone else enjoy the same kind of happiness I've found? Well, it seems there are those who would take that happiness away.

In November Proposition 8 passed in California defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. We have the same idiocy here in Georgia. But now the Prop 8 supporters are going one better: they want to nullify all the legal marriages conducted earlier this year before Prop 8 passed. Yup, they want to render those unions null and void.

Now that spooks me. Who has the right to tell me or any one of my fellow citizens that we are no longer legally wed? Those two gents I met jumped through all the hoops, flew all the way to CA to acknowledge before G*d and their fellow humans that they were willing to spend their lives together. And now the Prop 8 folks want to throw that commitment into the trash? It's tantamount to saying, "Yeah, you're third class citizens right behind the immigrants and the Muslims. Life with it. Or better yet, go straight."

WTH? Legally this is on shaky ground. Reversing marriages that were legal at the time sets an ugly precedent. Imagine someone announcing to you that that you're no longer married because someone decided it wasn't kosher after the fact?

In a few decades we'll look back at this mess and be embarrassed. This is much like those laws in the 1950's that wouldn't have allowed our president-elect's parents to be married because they were of different races. Gay and lesbians are our neighbors, our fellow citizens. They work, they pay taxes, they want the same things we want: love and respect. If their co-habitation is a sin, that's for G*d to sort out, not the rest of us.

I have long advocated that marriage should have absolutely nothing to do with the state. Marriage should be a religious entity. The states should provide a civil union ceremony. If the couple wish to take the commitment to the next step, then they marry in their church, synagogue or other religious institution. This "protect the sanctity of marriage" crap is just that. Homosexuals don't threaten my marriage. If anything, when I see their willingness to stay together through all life throws at them, it only reaffirms my own union.

1 comment:

steve said...

I've never figured out how same-sex marriages jeopardize the marraiges of us heterosexuals. I can understand the people ho oppose same-sex marriage on the grounds of tradition, but as a threat to traditonal marriage? The mind boggles.

I agree with you. The state could issue civil unions for all who wanted them, and the religious institutions could perform marriages.