On July 26, I sat outdoors in a lovely park and watched a dear friend marry the love of his life. The families and friends gathered there were celebrating this union with laughter and tears. It was like every other wedding I’ve ever attended, except that at this wedding, standing before loved ones were two grooms.
As I took it all in, watching the ceremony and the other attendees, joy swelled up inside of me. Joy for the fact that I was able to witness my friend and his partner of ten years, and the baby girl they had adopted a year ago, finally become a family recognized by the state, like any other heterosexual family in this country and having all the rights available to them that marriage status allows.
I have supported marriage equality for decades. As my circle of friends and acquaintances extended to those with different sexual orientation, just as it extended to those of different races and religions, my idea of what constituted marriage changed. Furthermore, as someone who has never found that special someone with whom to share my life, in my mind, anytime a person finds someone to love who reciprocates that love and they want to make the marriage commitment, they should be allowed to do so.
Many who oppose same-sex marriage use religion to support their argument. People can believe what they want, but their religious views should not be able to prevent other citizens from enjoying the same rights granted by the state that they enjoy. In the eyes of the state, it shouldn’t matter whether a couple is heterosexual or homosexual. We all pay taxes in one way or another and contribute to society, and as such, all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to enter into the marriage contract.
If you believe God deplores gay marriage, let God deal with those you believe are offending him. Don’t you, mere human being, judge and interfere with other people’s rights. If the situation were reversed, you certainly wouldn’t like it if someone actively worked to deny you civil rights they are awarded.
Another argument one hears is that somehow allowing gay couples to get married will hurt heterosexual unions. As we know, divorce is quite common in this country. Some opponents of gay marriage are in their second and third marriages. Do they not see the logical disconnect here? A committed gay or lesbian couple is going to destroy their second or third marriage? Really? Furthermore, if a heterosexual union isn’t strong enough to withstand the onslaught of same-sex marriages it probably wasn’t very solid to begin with. Just saying…
The sanctioned discrimination against homosexual couples here in America is slowly, state by state, disappearing. The Supreme Court refused to uphold DOMA in June. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, with Minnesota and Rhode Island becoming the twelfth and thirteenth on August 1.
It is only a matter of time until all states will do the same. As more families come to accept and embrace their gay sons, daughters, siblings, and parents, as more people know and interact with someone who is homosexual—friends, co-workers, classmates, etc.—and as people who support marriage equality slowly replace those who do not, all citizens will be able to marry whom they wish and enjoy all the rights and privileges that marriage affords in the eyes of the state.
Yes, society continues to evolve and progress on this issue. Fellow citizens who profess to value equality should value it not only for themselves, but for all citizens. Marriage equality will eventually be achieved, so let’s start by eliminating the term “same-sex marriage” and refer to all marriages simply as “marriage.” Love is love, right?
Cross-posted at The Feisty Liberal