Monday, May 14, 2012
The fuss over "gay marriage"
I've become very tired of all the brouhaha over 'gay marriage', from President Obama's cynically opportunist declaration that he supports it, through North Carolina's voters approving a state constitutional amendment rejecting it, and everything in between. As for Newsweek's latest cover . . . verily, the mind doth boggle!
I'm particularly angry because religion has been reduced to a political football in this whole mess. It's not for me to impose my religious views on others, just as it's not for them to impose theirs on me. I have my own views on homosexuality and on what constitutes a marriage, informed and influenced by my faith. I also have gay friends and acquaintances who reject those views (and the faith that informs them) out of hand. The reason that we're able to stay friends is that I don't try to force them to conform to my standards, and they don't try to make me conform to theirs. We accept each other's rights to freedom of religion and choice, and leave it at that.
As I've written on previous occasions, I think the solution to the whole 'gay marriage' issue is to get government out of the marriage business altogether. Stop issuing marriage licenses; stop registering marriages; let people partner with whoever they want, in whatever multiples and combinations they want, according to whatever system of belief they choose (or none if they reject them all), using whatever vows are meaningful to them. The only state involvement in the process should be to provide a standardized legal contract, specifying the individual(s) to whom I grant spousal rights in the event of medical incapacitation, inheritance, or other significant life-changing issues. Aside from that, no further government intervention should be permissible. That leaves each and every one of us free to follow our consciences, without seeking to impose our perspectives on anyone else or have them do that to us. Churches can decide what forms of marriage are acceptable to them, conduct ceremonies accordingly, and refuse to recognize (or admit to their worship) unions that don't conform to their standards. If I don't like their position on the matter, I can go elsewhere.
What's not to like?