Marriage has been a long-standing tradition between lovers as a binding union for ages. With Prop 8 being contested in the Supreme Court the issue of same sex marriage is once again a hot topic among not just among the “gay and lesbian community” but the “straight community” as well. Everyone has their own point of view on the subject and its time we, as American citizens, take a stand.
From a purely governmental stand point we need to look no further than the Declaration of Independence, “We the People, are created equal that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” It is a FACT that our country was founded on a desire for freedom from persecution for all people.
If you feel the need to look further into our country’s history lets jump to the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “Well, the Bible defines marriage as the Union between a man and a woman under God.” This in itself seems to be more of an argument to be dealt with within the church itself, not by government officials who claim to separate church and state. But if we want to go that route and argue that case, we might as well ban all marriages outside the Christian religion.
Many other religions practice the tradition of marriage in their own right. For example, Muslims recognize marriage, not as a union between man and woman before God (or Allah, in their case), but as a binding, purely-legal contract. Wicca, a derivative of the ancient Celtic religion, also believe in unity through marriage. Buddhism and Hinduism are among other polytheistic religions who practice the tradition of marriage. In the government’s desire to separate church and state I believe they only have two options (as far as the religious aspect goes)- accept all marriages as binding or accept none.
This brings me to my third and final point. What does Prop 8 and the banning of gay marriages say to our children. That prejudice is okay? That there is something fundamentally wrong with people who are gay? That it is a life choice they can just wake up from and change? None of these things are okay to teach our children. These are some of the reasons the gay, lesbian and bisexual teenage community are five times more likely to commit suicide. Its time for us to change our perspectives and look at the cold hard facts. Everyone deserves equality across the board.