Earlier this week I was elated to hear that a republican appointed federal judge over turned proposition 8 because it violated equal protection under the 14th Amendment. The entire argument against allowing homosexuals to marry can be boiled down to: “It is my personal religious view that homosexual marriage is wrong, and thus I am going to impose my religious views on you!” (Yeah, you could word it differently and dress it up to make it look like another argument, but deep deep down, at the heart of it is this religious intolerance) Trying to take this bigoted view and impose it on other people through law not only violates not only the 14th amendment, but the 1st as well.
Come to think of it, the government recognizing any religious marriage is a violation of the first amendment. Instead, the government should only recognize the civil unions formed by people who obtain the license and certificate from the local court house. (Which everyone, regardless of religion must do) If the government did this, then anyone could be joined in a civil union. A marriage and ceremony would be secondary. The legal privileges of a civil union would be open to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, as the 14th amendment guarantees.
I’ve seen conservatives frothing at the mouth over this issue. They somehow have gotten it into their head that if the government allows same sex couples to form a civil union, then the conservatives will be forced to preform marriage ceremonies for them. They draw this image of a government officer holding a gun to the head of a minister, forcing him to marry two homosexuals in the minister’s church. This is so utterly and completely absurd! Nobody is going to force any religious figure to preform a ceremony they do not wish to preform. No government agents will storm into a church, hold a gun to a pastor’s head, and make him wed two gays. Ideas like this are another side effect of binge drinking the kuh-kuh-koolaid. The absolutely ridiculous nature of this belief aside, from a purely legal standpoint, the government could not do this for a plethora of reasons, two stand out immediately: A) The church is private property. B) This would violate the 1st Amendment. (Yes, kiddies, the separation of church and state protects churches from the state, so think about that before you try to tear down that wall)
The government cannot tell religions how to act. That would be “inhibiting the free exercise” of religion. The concept most conservatives don’t seem capable of understanding is that imposing their beliefs on people who are not members of their organization through the public legal system is NOT an instance of free exercise. Therefore the government if fully able (and is required by that very same amendment) to block any attempt by the religious to do so. You can be a bigot inside your church all you want. You can be a bigot in your home. You can even be a bigot and shout in the street so everyone else knows you’re a bigot. You CAN’T be a bigot and try to impose your views through law. Sorry, go home.
Instead, when homosexuals want to get married on top of having a civil union, they can do so with any person willing to preform that ceremony. That’s the keyword there, willing. You better believe there are people willing to do so. Homosexuals getting married is GREAT for business. More weddings means more demand for services, more demand means more jobs, more jobs mean a stronger economy and thus a stronger nation.
Conservatives will still be able to marry in churches that refuse to preform the ceremony for homosexuals. I think there is another big disconnect for conservatives on this issue: stopping homosexuals from getting married doesn’t stop them from loving each other. The will still be there, they will still love, and they will still do everything everyone else does when in a relationship., and their ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. The only thing trying to bar them from their 14th amendment rights does is cause suffering.
“Your partner of 40+ years, the person you love with all your heart, is dying in the hospital? I’m sorry, you’re not allowed to see him, but the family that disowned him 40+ years ago and haven’t spoken to him since can go right on up…oh wait, they’re not here…guess he’ll have to die alone…”
“You want to adopt Sarah from her abusive and alcoholic home? That’s wonderful, this poor girl’s had a really hard life. I see you are mentally fit, responsible, have no criminal record, and are able to provide her with a stable home, food on the table, a roof over her head, and school supplies to learn, that’s great! Oh wait…before Sarah can start her new life, are you a homosexual? Yes!?!? I’m sorry then, Sarah’s going to have to go back to living with her abusive father that broke her arm. You homosexuals are bad people and your home is no environment in which to raise a child!”
It’s stuff like this that really makes discriminating against people disgusting. The ironic thing is, many of the people who would willfully cause this type of suffering (which is very real and happens every day) do so in the name of their god of “love”. That just makes me want to vomit.