Marriage Equality and Bigotry or DiscriminatOR or DiscriminatEE?

    I’m sure you’re all aware of the wedding cake baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding based on their religious beliefs and the resulting lawsuit in which a activist judge decided they would FORCE said wedding baker to bake the cake anyway. Then we have the cases of Hobby Lobby not wanting to provide the “morning after” pill and Catholic Charities that don’t want to hand out free birth control due to their religious convictions. And I’m sure you’re all aware of the resulting legislation that popped up in red states “to protect the religious freedom” of business owners who don’t want to “violate their conscience” also known as “discrimination laws” by pro-gay marriage advocacy groups and George Takei. Oh MYYYYYYY! (Sorry, I had to.) From Hobby Lobby to Phil Robertson to the NFL threatening to boycott Arizona and every republican who listens to Rush about to boycott the NFL (like THAT’LL happen…) to those on the left singing “we shall overcome” and calling anybody who doesn’t agree with them a zealot or a bigot, this has gotten WAY out of hand. We all need to stop, take a breath, and ask ourselves on BOTH sides of this issue some questions:

    Why do gay people want to get married? If you have any gay friends or family who want to get married, ask them that. Is it because they believe that marriage is a holy sacrament? Are they looking for tax breaks? Do they want to have rights to pull the plug if their spouse is on life support and be able to execute their last will and testament? There are many answers to list but these are the most common I have heard and currently only ONE of these answers is solvable without the state being involved, and THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM. We have taken a ceremony that’s as old as 5,000 B.C. in damn near every culture on this planet, full of vows, pledges, oaths and promises and given the power to say who can practice it and who cannot to a bunch of inept idiots that make laws and push agendas for a living. Unfortunately, this has reduced the validity, the supernatural nature and the value of marriage into the same bureaucratic act of going down to an office, paying the state a “fee” and walking out with a driver’s or fishing license. In other words, we’ve taken the holiness out of marriage by giving the state the power we used to reserve for God (or whichever representative of whatever religion you may be) thereby letting bureaucrats play that same role and now we see why it was a stupid idea.

     Many gay couples want to get married because they DO recognize marriage as a holy sacrament. As I stated earlier, marriage is a rite or sacrament that has been held sacred for several millenia in most every culture. It was a HOLY rite that was usually consecrated by a HOLY man or woman with vows taken before a HOLY deity. Once we gave that power of deciding who should marry and who shouldn’t to gov’t, we’re basically giving them the power of that rite, yet they are NOT a deity, no matter how much they try to make themselves so. Their involvement, their fees, their inclusion and exclusion of one people or another, one faith or another, their arbitrary rules over the years have cheapened what was once sacred. Solution: Take the gov’t OUT of marriage. Your faith and who you LOVE should be the deciding factor in who you should marry and how that marriage should be carried out. The ONLY time gov’t should be involved is in the enforcement of a contract involving marriage such as a pre-nuptial agreement or a divorce. That was one of the FEW roles our gov’t had to play at the founding of this nation (the enforcement of contracts) and it should be returned to that role as far as their involvement is concerned. With gov’t out of the way, the only time you have to worry about holy-rollers not allowing you to marry is in their own church. There are plenty of other churches who gladly welcome all lifestyles and you’re free to pick and choose whichever one suits your lifestyle best. I know a few gay couples who are perfectly happy with the church they attend and their churches are likewise happy to have them. On the flip-side, Christians who are Biblically based don’t have to worry about activist judges forcing you to recognize a marriage exists by baking a cake or forcing your priest, pastor, etc. to perform a wedding ceremony or even recognize a gay couple as married. Sure, some marriages will be recognized by some faiths and some won’t, but that’s the FREEDOM we have with personal choice and those situations of “discrimination” existed CENTURIES before the marriage equality debate was ever heard of. Here’s my own personal example: I’m Roman Catholic yet my denomination does not recognize my own marriage to my own wife because she’s a Baptist and we were married by a Baptist preacher. I disagree with that tradition due to scripture but they have their reasons, so I don’t seek out legal retribution and fascist activism trying to FORCE them to “accept” me. Why would I even want to do that and have so much hate directed at me when I go to Mass? I simply choose to go to a different church. Can you imagine the fiasco if the state were involved in this? We already left behind the centuries of Catholic vs. Protestant warfare, no need to repeat it on my account….

       Another answer I hear often is to be recognized with the same tax breaks as married couples get. And honestly, I can’t think of a more STUPID reason to want to get married. So you can get some extra dough from the state? Really? Could you BE any more petty? Why don’t you just adopt a kid and get a tax credit which is a HELLUVA LOT HIGHER than the tax break some people get for being married!!! Our society LOOKS DOWN on those who run foster homes and have children bouncing in and out of their homes just for the extra money they get by abusing the system and getting married simply for a tax break is abusing the system just the same. Also, in many states, there’s actually a marriage penalty, so good luck, depending on where you live. If taxes were FAIR or even non-existent to begin with, if the states involvement were removed from the situation where it doesn’t belong, this wouldn’t even be an argument, much less a stupid one.

      Which brings us to the last and most solid argument I’ve heard, being able to make end-of life decisions and executing a will. This is where the state SHOULD be involved and they’re not doing a very good job of it if they’re not allowing someone with specific instructions outlined in a Living Will or in someone’s Last Will to carry out those wishes. Yet, the solution doesn’t lie in getting married, as the state should ALREADY be carrying out those instructions regardless of whether the executor is a lesbian life partner, a parent, a spouse, a son or daughter, or Moe from the Three Stooges. After all, this is a LEGAL document we’re talking about, and for a state to say that a parent who hasn’t spoken to their gay daughter for 20 years has more say in pulling life support than their partner who is LEGALLY AUTHORIZED to make that decision is absolutely preposterous. The gov’t should be enforcing the contract, not making arbitrary rules based on blue laws but this is the result you get when you give the gov’t more leave to be involved in matters like these than they should have. They are not God. They cannot bless a marriage. Once again, reduce them to their intended role, problem solved, state-sanctioned marriage not required.

      Marriage is not just a status. It is a state of mind. It is full of ups and downs, joys and disappointments and there’s no way to emphasize this next statement enough: it takes a lot of hard work, compromise, love, and swallowing your pride to keep it going. There are plenty of straight couples who don’t take marriage seriously, who take advantage of their spouse, who use kids to influence and punish their spouse, who cheat on their spouse, waste money, get abusive and so on……. in other words, there are plenty of people out there who are STRAIGHT that have made the sanctity of marriage a joke. But allowing gay couples to marry can’t destroy the sanctity of marriage any more than the past few generations of straights can’t destroy it either. Keeping marriage sacred is a personal choice made by individuals, not society as a whole. If just one group of people could destroy that, marriage would have died out long ago and I and my wife would not hold our own marriage sacred, blessed by God and would not work so hard to keep the sanctity there. WE make the choice of whether or not our marriage is sanctified. In doing so, we get to experience the joys and blessings we get out of it and that FAR outweighs anything the state can grant us. I would do it again even if they gave me more benefits for staying single. I hope everybody, both gay and straight, that are getting married are doing so for the right reasons. If you are, you don’t need the state to consecrate your union, the love and work you put into it will be a testimony of whether it’s sanctified or not.

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