Because I’m Sick of Typing This…
I got into Yet Another Social Network Argument© recently regarding gay marriage. Quite honestly, I’m sick of it. No, I’m not sick of gay marriage. I’m sick of the opposition to it here in the United States.
You know what I’m even more sick of? Typing the same damn argument out each time it comes up. So, henceforth, I will simply paste this link. If you’re the recipient, congratulations! You’re wrong. A word of warning up front, though. You may find yourself agreeing with me. Run with that.
Marriage exists on two levels. Individuals who are highly religious (the faith in question does not matter) believe that marriage is a divine union, before God. Sometimes the term “sacrement” is used. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Then, we have marriage at the civic level. That’s entirely different. It is just a contractual joining of two individuals into one entity. The forming of a business. There are legal implications, rights, and other associated privileges. Consider taxes, visitation, medical, insurance, child custody, adoption, and so on.
I really care not about the first type when it comes down to this argument. It doesn’t matter to me. Jewish weddings, Christian ceremonies, Muslim Nikah? I couldn’t care less. The point to understand here is that to each member of a practicing faith — or for some, no faith at all — this is just as important as your promises before witnesses and God. I don’t want to take any of that away. I don’t want to make clergy marry gay folks. No one wants that. Some clergy will be willing, however, and that is fine. That’s a question for that specific church.
Furthermore, for the dedicated faithful, this practice should be held in a higher regard than the civic contract. The civic contract is just a detail. The marriage is for eternity. You profess that your faith matters the most to you. Then live by that.
Now, I want to decouple the two. Consider the following points. Really. Consider them with an open mind and reserve your fire and brimstone speech for just a little bit longer. I promise, it makes a lot of sense.
First, from a rights standpoint, everyone is equal. Love isn’t even a requirement for the contract. Sounds bad? It’s not. It’s a legal binding agreement. That’s it. Two men. Two women. Two people in crazy love. Two best friends in their 70′s who have no one else and want to share assets and decisions. Contract. Legal age? Paid the fee? I pronounce you legally entered into a binding contract. Pay the exit fee when you’re done. Thanks. Please don’t kiss the other party; we don’t care if you’re in love.
Secondly, the two don’t have to happen simultaneously. Perform the faith driven ceremony and file the paperwork for the contract six months later. Think about all of the divorces we’ll save. There’s no “living in sin” at this point as in the eyes of God, the marriage has the rubber stamp.
The two elements belong distinct. The contract has no religious connotation. Rights are equal. Religious marriages stay untouched. Everyone is happy.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I do want to clarify another point. Unfortunately, my argument isn’t all about how beautiful love is or how everyone deserves to marry a soulmate. None of that “fluff” matters to me. Then, why so vocal? Simple. I disagree with the legislation of religious beliefs, especially when they result in legally restricting rights of others. Think about that. Legally restricting the rights of others. Ew. That tastes bad.
Finally, I’m in a very happy heterosexual marriage. I love the shit out of my wife. You know, I’d have absolutely no problem going downtown and trading my Province of Ontario marriage certificate in for a State of Georgia Civil Union affidavit. This, of course, is assuming my gay buddies get to do the same thing.
Go on. Tell me what the problem with this approach is. I’ve got $10 on you failing to do so without a Bible quote.