“What!?” you say. “Bleeding-heart left-winger Purple Wyrm doesn’t support gay marriage!? Has the world gone mad!?” well, read on and I’ll explain.
I don’t support gay marriage, because I don’t support straight marriage.
Let me clarify.
What is marriage? Fundamentally marriage is a religious or cultural institution. It has acquired a legal status because, historically, governments haven’t been able to keep their hands out of religious issues. Nowdays, in an increasingly secular and multicultural/multi-religious society, governments are moving to shed themselves of religious trappings so as to accurately represent all of their constituents. And in my view governmentally sanctioned marriage is one of those trappings and should be done away with post haste.
I don’t mean that people won’t be able to get married. I’m not advocating some kind of storm troopers breaking up weddings and hauling priests and celebrants off to re-education camps. What I’m talking about is divorcing (haha! see what I did there?) the cultural and religious ceremony and sacrament of marriage from the legal definition of two people pooling their resources and assets. A legal contract that binds two people together and gives them certain governmentally recognised rights should have nothing to do with a guy (or gal) saying words in a church, any more than you need a Shinto Priest to authorise the taking of your passport photos.
If you want to get married in a ceremony and have a religious official presiding – fantastic! Do it! Have a fantastic day and be happy in the knowledge that you’re legitimately joined in the eyes of your deity and culture. But you should get no rights or privileges from the government until you fill out the appropriate paperwork – the same paperwork as everyone else. And if you don’t want a big ceremony (or you can’t get it because the religion or culture in question won’t recognise your union as a valid one) then just fill out the paperwork and get exactly the same rights and recognition as every other civilly united couple.
Religions can continue to offer the ceremony and social/theological concept of ‘marriage’ to whoever they want – subject to the wishes of their congregants. Government won’t deal with ‘marriage’ at all, just civil unions. The ‘sanctity of marriage’ will no longer be threatened by ‘teh geyz’ because it will have been handed back to the religions to look after for themselves, and everyone gets the same rights
That’s the way I reckon it should be. Civil unions for everyone who wants them, and miniature national flags for everyone else! 🙂
5 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Support Gay Marriage”
right on brutha! Co-inky-dinkaly I was mulling over exactly the same idea only minutes before I clicked on The Wyrmlog!
Co-inky-dink my arse! Stop stealing my thoughts! 😉
A “traditional” marriage. Now there’s something I never want to do again. To many rules and traditions.If gay couples or any couples want to get married or committed to each other, then more the power to them. My advice to them, do a Hand-fasting Ritual Ceremony. No prejudice, no judgement, no condemnation. Just love and acceptance of who you are.
As my favourite saying goes,
“Love doesn’t demand, it Accepts”.
This is what I believe and how I live my life. 🙂
Hmm… IIRC this is kind of the direction that France has gone.
I don’t think it’s entirely satisfactory though. Imagine if when women where agitating for the vote we were told ‘Look, it’s not that you can’t vote, it’s just people will be very sensitive it we say females can vote. So instead you can have an opinion. We’ll count all the opinions and it totally means the same thing we just won’t call it ‘voting rights.” Words do have meaning and weight, and marriage is one of those. It means something different to many people to say husband/wife/married rather than partner/defacto.
Equally, most couple don’t get married in a church. It’s something like 30% of couples get married in a church these days. Marriage is acknowledged as a largely civil institution these days and it’s wrong to hand ownership of it back to the churches.
Finally, I think that we have to consider how comfortable we are with letting churches make statements that would be discriminatory in other circumstances. What about if the church didn’t allow inter-racial marriages? Would it be something we brushed off as ‘well, it’s what they believe’ or would there be moves to change it? It’s easy to put it down as fine because people choose to join churches but it affects all the related parties, the kids growing up in families having to attend those church services and so on. I think it still comes down to a comfort level people have around whether homosexuality is a choice vs fundamental characteristic.
The points you raise are good ones. Also my title may have been a bit glib – I was going more for impact than strict fact.
The idea behind this proposal isn’t to hand exclusive use of the term ‘marriage’ over to religions – it’s to remove it’s legal definition, thus taking the wind out of the sails of the religious right. As long as the legal state of two people being joined together is officially and legally called ‘marriage’, we’re in the following situation…
1: Legislation says that when two people are joined legally, it’s ‘marriage’.
2: Religions say ‘marriage’ can only be between a man and a woman.
3: When governments try to redefine the process by allowing people of the same gender to be joined, it’s seen as an attack on the religious definition, and thus an attack on religion itself.
If on the other hand the government says ‘We’re not going to call it ‘marriage’ anymore, then redefines it, the religious right have lost a huge chunk of their argument.
In day to day life I’d still expect – and hope – that people would still call the process ‘marriage’, and I’d similarly expect and hope that the fight to bring religions into the 21st century in regards to gender and sexuality would continue, and eventually be triumphant. It’s just that I think giving the word ‘marriage’ a legal meaning makes things far too complicated, and is illogical to boot.