Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Personally, I think the whole gay marriage debate is silly. Are you opposed to homosexual marriage? Don’t marry a homosexual then! The issue also helped me discover a solution to the federal budget deficit – allow gays and lesbians to marry and the resulting increase in income taxes received by the Federal Government because of the marriage penalty will help reduce the deficit!

Seriously, though, I think there are two important issues that aren’t being covered in the press. First, is the claim that “activist judges” are responsible this phenomenon. Read the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution. It states:

“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (emphasis added)

Banning gay marriage seems, to me anyway, a clear violation of the equal protection clause of THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. Imagine this headline: “Gay marriage banned in the US Constitution.” Now replace “Gay” with “Interracial.” It is the same type of discrimination, folks. We live in a secular society, deal with it. These are not activist judges – these are judges applying the (very clear and unambiguous) language in our Constitution.

Second issue – the “sanctity of marriage.” Religious conservatives are up in arms that gay marriage is destroying the “sanctity of marriage.” Think about the language being used here. Sanctity, from “to sanctify.” Here’s the entry from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: sanc·ti·fy
Pronunciation: -"fI
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -fied; -fy·ing
Etymology: Middle English sanctifien, from Middle French sanctifier, from Late Latin sanctificare, from Latin sanctus sacred -- more at SAINT
1 : to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : CONSECRATE
2 : to free from sin : PURIFY
3 a : to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to b : to give moral or social sanction to
4 : to make productive of holiness or piety

Look at definition 3a. To sanctify is “to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect.” Why are religious conservatives counting on government to sanctify marriage? Getting your marriage license at the county courthouse doesn’t impart sacredness, getting married in a church with a minister and committing your relationship to God does. Think about it this way – if government action or endorsement imparts sacredness on an institution (like marriage), does that mean that the fact that government allows divorce makes it sacred? Does the lack of any civil or criminal penalty make adultery sacred? Sanctity is imbued by God through our commitment. For Christians, civil marriage is just that – civil. It makes it easier to enter into certain legal contracts, changes tax status, and conveys other benefits and responsibilities. If you believe that gay marriage threatens the sanctity of your marriage, don’t go to a church that marries homosexuals.

Personally, I believe heterosexuals have done a fine job wrecking the institution of marriage. At a time when more than half of all marriages will end in divorce and celebrity marriages are measured in days and weeks rather than years, I think that the danger is from within. More on the institution of marriage tomorrow…



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