Should marriage be a sacred institution between only a woman and a man?

20 Feb

What is marriage and who should be allowed to marry? Is marriage a union between a man and woman only? Is it a union between two men or two women? The answer is yes to all of the above. Marriage is not a question of gender, but a question of commitment.

What people against same sex marriage often say is that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman for the purposes of expressing their love, procreating, and living the traditional lifestyle as defined by our founding fathers. What they sadly often fail to realize is that the word marriage is defined as: “The state of being united to a person in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. It does not say only a man and woman, and even in dictionaries where that is stated the second definition states it is a same sex relationship in place of man and woman. Nowhere does it ever make mention of it being sacred.

Let’s be honest for a moment, if marriage was a truly sacred institution it would have to be conducted by a recognized spiritual leader correct? Why then can a ships captain, a judge, or non-religiously affiliated persons conduct such a sacred ritual? Why then could I, if I chose to, apply for and buy a license to marry people and have no religious affiliation whatsoever? It is really quite easy to do as long as you are over the age of eighteen and have the money to pay for it. Something like heart surgery requires a very specific person with advanced training and abilities, but to simply have a wedding you can have any number of recognized officials do it. Does that sound sacred? I will say the ritual, the ceremony of marriage itself can be sacred if (If is a big word here) the couple chooses it to be. The reality is that marriage is simply a contract, albeit a very powerful contract. To say marriage is sacred and/or for the purposes of procreation is to say every marriage not conducted by a religiously affiliated figurehead is void. It is to say every marriage that does not produce an offspring is void. It is to say every couple that has married with no intention of producing an offspring has entered a contract fraudulently and therefore should be subject to punitive damages against the governement. It is to say each half of those relationships has no legal rights concerning their partner.

What this contract allows is for the couple to enjoy legally recognized rights and benefits concerning health care, gaurdianship of minors, tax advantages and other financial considerations among a myriad of other issues. Why should these rights be allowed only for heterosexual couples? Quite frankly they shouldn’t be. Imagine for a second being a heterosexual couple in a union for some twenty years, unmarried but desiring to be, and having no rights as a common law couple. Your partner falls ill and needs medical care. You cannot legally play a role in how this will be carried out. Forbid that person passes away, you have no right to decide their eternal resting place. You have no rights to assumed inheritance and the estate you have built together can be legally carved up by your partners survivning family. Even if you were appointed as the persons medical proxy and the entire estate is willed to you legally, it can be contested and you will usually lose to their blood relations. Is that fair? For the vast majority of gay and lesbian couples in the U.S. that is a fact of we are forced to living in the confines of.

Now you may say we are not forced to do so, but the fact is we must if we want to be together. Could we move to Massachussets or California to get married? Sure we could, but why should we be forced to do so when a heterosexual couple does not? As a heterosexual person ask yourself what you would do in the same situation if the roles were reversed and it was heterosexual marriage which was being denied. Would you resign yourself to living alone, deny your sexual identity, or live as best as you could and hope everything works out? How would you feel if this was done to you yet you were expected to live up to the same legal responsibilities such as paying taxes, jury duty, selective service enlistment for males, and all the other aspects of being a part of society?

Marriage is not really the sacred institution many people have kidded themselves into believing it is. It is really at it’s base a legal contract. The day each state began dictating at what age you could marry, how many people you could marry, and assorted other requirements people must meet in order to be married any hint of religion had to be removed from being mandatory under the contractual requirements. It became a government issue. Seperation of church and state is paramount here. They set the rules, they collect the fees, and if you try to circumvent them you are legally liable to the repercussions. As the governent is based on the premise of such mantras as equality and no taxation without representation, does their flouting of the rights of this segment of society allow gay and lesbian persons to flout their laws? No it doesn’t, not in the least. In fact if you try it you’ll wind up in jail most likely. It is sad that the LGBT in regards to marriage is so disgustingly marginalized and so many people think it is okay. It is a sad commentary on society. Suppose the laws were re-written to deny bi-racial marriages, imagine the outcry! It would make no more sense to do that than it does to continue to deny same sex marriage.

Look into our nations history over the last hundred or so years and notice the inequitable treatment of people based on perceived differences. Women could not vote at one time because it was thought they did not have the capacity to understand politics and even if they could their opinions were invalid as they were inferior to men. People of color were denied the vote along with the most basic of human rights and decencey because they were considered inferior and incapable of having the capacity to contribute to society aside from the most basic forms of tasks. While most people knew this to be untrue a small group of predjudiced people in positions of power managed to hold these people back for no valid reason, even when public opinion began calling for equality. Imagine where we would be now without the invaluable contributions of those people. Now it is the LGBT which is being discriminated against based on nothing more than the fact they are attracted to the same sex. Does that not smack of outright predjudice? Why is it that even in states where the public has voted in favor of gay marriage the legislators have denied it? Is America a government of the people, or a governemnt of the legislators and their personal opinions? If you are against prejudice, you are against it in regards to everyone, it is not something which is randomly doled out, it is a blanket state of thought.

The simple fact is for the vast majority of people opposed to gay marriage this is an argument of semantics. Read any number of opinions against it and many will say that while they oppose gay marriage they are just fine with it being a civil union or legally recognized domestic partnership, or anything except marriage. They say they are fine with people being gay. They say all this yet when they say no to gay marriage, they say we gay and lesbian people are inferior and not deserving of the rights they enjoy because they find the opposite sex attractive. Why is that? It is because in reality they are not really okay with gay and lesbian people. Not to be cruel but in all honesty it reeks of flawed logic and warped thinking. I would however be willing to make this deal, allow me and every other gay or lesbian person the right to enter a legally bindiing union with every, and I do mean every single legal right a heterosexual married couple has, and those opposed can call it a civil union or tapioca for all I care. I will know it is marriage and call it such.

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