Yes, you are all sick of hearing the 'yay' or 'what do you think about...' but anyway. I want to actually try and explain why it is a big deal, and maybe help some of those against it, to understand why we pushed for legality of same-sex marriage, even though same-sex love is legal already. please excuse any typos. <3 And note that I did my research. I most certainly did not pull this out of my ass, as some people have claimed.
Marriage, as many people say, is a religious ceremony.
Okay. I will accept that. It most certainly does have its roots in religion.
And that the religions it comes from do not support same sex marriage.
Okay.That seems true to me as well. Marriage, religious marriage has been defined as the union of a man and woman. Now, I don't think that makes sense, or see why it must be a man and woman, but it isn't my place to judge this fact and I'm not here to argue that point.
So what is the problem? Why allow same sex couples to take part in a religious ceremony that does not accept them? Are we forcing religion to go against its beliefs?
Maybe. When you think about it like that, it sounds kind of..well, bad. Maybe you support gay couples or not, but either way, we don't want to not support religion, that would be against the constitution, right, to ignore religious freedom?
Now, that may be true. We do need to support religion, whether we agree with it or not, because of the freedom of speech--we know how important that is, all of us.
Now, here is the problem with that.
Marriage has a lot of 'benefits'. Most of which have nothing to do with religion, but rather, basic rights that a spouse should be able to have, such as making decisions for their partner when their partner is sick, or dead, as well as other things such as tax benefits and home ownership--I'll get into more detail as we go on. The basic point is that marriage, despite coming from religious roots, has governmental value--and I think we should all be able to agree that humans living in the U.S.A. deserve to have the same federal rights.
But isn't there another option for same sex couples?
Yes...sort of. There is something known as Civil Union, and it is not religious at all. However, we can't use it, not as an easy alternative for those who don't fit in the definition of religious matrimony.
Marriage: Marriage is a unique legal status conferred by and recognized by governments the world over. It brings
with it a host of reciprocal obligations, rights, and protections. Yet it is more than the sum of its legal
parts. It is also a cultural institution. The word itself is a fundamental protection, conveying clearly that
you and your life partner love each other, are united and belong by each other’s side. It represents the
ultimate expression of love and commitment between two people and everyone understands that. No
other word has that power, and no other word can provide that protection.
Source- Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders [GLAD]. I fact-checked this with other organizations and legal sites and religious definitions, and everything is true, but this is the best worded definition I have found.
What is Civil Union?
A civil union is a legal status created by the state of Vermont in 2000 and subsequently by the states of
Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii. It provides legal
protection to couples at the state law level, but omits federal protections as well as the dignity, clarity,
security and power of the word “marriage.”
Source- same as above.
So firstly, what we need to realize is this 'alternative' wasn't even in the entire country of the US.
Now, it says that it provides legal protection. That's good, but what are these 'ommissions'? It says federal protection. Let's look into what that means.
Firstly, since civil unions are not in every state, they are not necessarily going to be treated as a 'real thing' in states that don't provide civil union, if a couple moves--and very few states have civil unions. Not only that but impoverished couples who do not have the financial support to move to a state where they are honored cannot be joined in civil union.
Federal benefits: This won't cover all, but some legal protections and responsibilities that are included with civil marriage, but not union: leaving work to care for a family member, the right to sponsor a spouse for immigration, and social security benefits that can make the difference from being impoverished in old age, or being secure in your old age. There are many more, but these are among the most important I found in my search. None of these have to do with religion, so why should they only be available to those who are within a religious code of conduct [hetersexuality]?
The federal government has not recognized civil unions--only state government. That means that taxation is made endlessly more complicated--are you single, are you married? Neither.
And in fact, while you are not married, and the government does not recognize a civil union as marriage, you can get in trouble--fraud--for saying you are single on tax forms and other government forms, because you aren't. So you really don't know if you're going to be okay on that front.
So in conclusion, it is my belief that as marriage is firmly entrenched in our society, our government, it should be completely available--as anything in the government should be. All US citizens should have the right to these benefits mentioned above. Perhaps the government should never have given marriage such federal and legal benefits, but as it has, it cannot be pretended that marriage is solely a religious ceremony. Our government cannot deny human rights because of a religious holdover.
Now, I do not think we should force churches to marry same-sex couples if the individual church is against it. THAT would be a breach of religious freedom, and while there are religious same-sex couples, there are other options for marriage, such as courthouse marriages.
Thank you for reading. I would love to answer any questions, both in comments and by updating this take, and I would appreciate all comments to be rational--this isn't a place to rant and hate, but to debate and educate.
Oh dear. I apologize for those rhymes. Anyway, thank you.