Lynn rings in on the subject of gay marriage

08.11.03

Lynn rings in on the subject of gay marriage, and of course says everything I would have wanted to say, but better than I ever could (as she so often does):

For the record, the only real argument I’ve ever heard against homosexuality is Biblical. The Bible says it’s bad, end of story. That’s what people mean when they say it’s “unnatural.” (“God created Adam and Eve, not . . . .”) That’s what they mean when they talk about protecting the “sanctity” of marriage. What “sanctity?” Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic church. It’s a religious rite of passage in the Jewish faith and in just about every other faith as well. Exclusive control over marriage has traditionally been usurped by religious authorities and they don’t like giving up their grip on it because it’s a very powerful institution to control.

Problem is, in this country, in the United States of America, we recognize civil marriage. In the United States of America, we recognize the rights of individuals to marry without the blessing of any priest, minister, rabbi, mullah or guru. In other words, without the approval of any god or his/her minions. Here in America, control over marriage is shared by religious institutions and our civil government. But the last word belongs to the state, not the church, and the First Amendment to our Constitution says that the rules and regulations of the latter do not govern or dictate to the former. Religious doctrine does not, can not and must not determine the rights of citizens under the civil law.

So if a gay couple wants to get married in a synagogue, they need to take that up with the rabbi. If they want to get married in a church, they’re going to have to find a minister who’ll perform the ceremony. A member of the clergy can say “I won’t agree to do that because the Bible says it’s wrong. What you want to do violates the religious beliefs of this institution.” If you don’t like it, you have to lobby to change it or find a different religious institution that’s freed itself from this particular form of bigotry. But neither the U.S. government nor the governments of its constituent states or municipalities have any business discriminating against some citizens on the basis of Biblical invective let alone invoking such invective in support of such discrimination.

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1 Alex 08.15.03 at 7:20 AM

If you read the Globe and Mail, a few days ago there’s was on op-ed on gay marriage from a gay guy in his 40s looking very much like a standard issue politician in suit.

So this guy was talking about the institution of marriage, the catholic church and same-sex marriage. Turns out that the latter where only officially ban late in the middle-ages (along with jews, loans and a bunch of other things) and that the catholic (then the only game in town as far as christianity goes) only took control of weddings in the 12th or 13th century. When it removed that some right from the clerics…

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