Hi there. I'm popping back in for a moment to ask a question that I hope, someday, I will understand the answer to: What is this big deal about marriage?
I don't mean why would someone be threatened by having his or her religion invaded. I don't mean why would someone who has made up his or her mind to hate someone prevent them from marrying. I don't mean why do people want to get married. I am simply asking: why is a marriage in the government such a big deal?
We, as Americans (and sorry for the ethnocentrism, but to be honest, I have nowhere near enough of a grasp of the culture to comment anywhere else), have a separation of church and state. How effective this is varies, since it's not on the books, but it is there. It's a part of our cultural mindset. I regularly see in any code of conduct I have been asked to follow that you cannot discriminate based upon "race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, immigrant status, homelessness, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, medical condition, physical appearance or physical or mental disability." (This is taken directly from my current planner, which my school hands out to freshmen and sells to anyone else.) Would you prevent someone from marrying because he or she was black? How about because the person was sixty? Or Jewish? Poor? Ugly? In a wheelchair?
These all sound silly, don't they? Of course you wouldn't prevent Alex from marrying Sam just because Sam was black, or Asian, or whatever else, and Alex was white. Now here I am, a bisexual female. If I fall in love with Alex and I want to marry him, that's fine, no matter who he is. If I fall in love with Alex, and I want to marry her, I don't get to. Except...I do. I get to marry her in my church, or wherever you get married according to her religion. This is not stopping gays from getting married, it's just putting terminology on the books which is odd to begin with.
And then we've got the counterargument. The one that isn't religion, which I've already gone over, saying that I don't think religion and politics should mix. The other is that there is a difference between the sexes, and that men without women (bachelors, men married to men) are dangerous to society. The problem with this is readily apparent to anyone who knows a large number of bachelors or men living with their boyfriends, etc. First of all, they're not. Second of all, even if they were, the only way they could live entirely away from women would be to live entirely away from society. And beyond that, as I have already noted, taking away someone's right to marry in the government does not take away his or her right to marry.
Back to marriage. Because I am not talking about gay marriage, I am talking about marriage. If, as too many people seem ready to claim, marriage is a religious thing, why is it in our government at all? Why is anyone being married? Hey, let everyone get married in a [insert wherever people of your religion/lack thereof would get married here]. Let people get civil unions in the government, regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, immigrant status, homelessness, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, medical condition, physical appearance, or physical or mental disability. Marriage is marriage. The government has no place in a sacred union, because the government isn't sacred.
You, who believes people who wish to marry people of their own gender? You're right. You, who believe marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman in your religion? You're right (even if your religious leader disagrees, your religion is your religion). The government, having a place in the sacred part of anything sacred? Let's not. That can solve both sides.
Comments, questions, concerns?