A Word about Gay Marriage and Religious Rights

English: A woman makes her support of her marr...
English: A woman makes her support of her marriage, and not civil unions, known outside the Mormon temple at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Photographer’s blog post about this photo and the protest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My poet friends can read all of the double meaning and irony into that title that they would like.

I read a great blog post the other day by James Erich about why states in the U.S. allowing gays to marry was no infringement on anyone’s religious rights. It was so succinctly and logically stated that I had to share it with my facebook family, and now share it with you.

No, marriage equality does no damage to your religious freedom. No priest or preacher or rabbi now or ever has been forced to perform any ceremony they didn’t agree to perform. It simply allows legal rights for all of us, regardless of religion.

Honestly, Church, you have twisted the words of the Bible to shut me out, so why in God’s name (literally) would you think I want your approval? You’re doing a fine job destroying that old holy book yourselves. I’m not going to help you, nor do I want your help, “Reverend,” with my own marriage. It’s about the law, and though not in the way you allege, it’s about morality. I would simply like the legal right to be free of your religious oppression.

I thought about answering one or two protests that always come up on this issue, but again someone else has done this so thoroughly and thoughtfully well, with brevity that cuts to the heart of the objections that I thought I should just share it. This time it was a graphic that I found here.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Alex Fyffe says:

    That’s an excellent brochure for all of the people who, for some reason or another, can’t seem to figure all of that out on their own, even though it’s common sense. Even with this argument, though, I still have a friend who says he’s fine with it as long as it isn’t called “marriage,” since marriage implies being married under God. Just call it something else, anything else, and he’ll be all for it. For him, the word marriage can not be separated from religious union, even though I think it separated itself a long time ago. Marriage is much more a social union than a religious one, considering atheists, like my wife and I, get married every single day. We didn’t think, We should get right with God! We thought, We should show everyone how committed we are to being together. God had nothing to do with it. The other major argument I hear, from my parents and others, is that two women or two men can’t have babies. For them, marriage is all about biological family-building, even though plenty of married couples can’t have children or, like my wife and I, choose not to have children. Obviously, that is not the only reason to marry, and it should have nothing to do with the argument for gay marriage rights. And yet the argument persists . . . .


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Alex, I think you very adequately addressed to other concerns that christians claim to have. But I think I’d like to add a few thoughts of my own about at least that marriage word in my next post. Thank you for the clear insight.


    2. sonofwalt says:

      Well, I was going to write a part two post, but it’s been a few days, and anyway, I think you addressed this very well. The only thing I would add for your friend is that as soon as people realize that marriage was an institution that pre-dated Christianity, the better off we will be. What do they call people married in “God-less China?”

      The way to answer that would be to say that anyone who is not a Christian then should probably not be “married,” as that should only be handled by the church, and non-Christians in this country of ours should only be issued Civil Union licenses, not marriage licenses. Several problems with this though. One is that it is not the state’s prerogative to issue religious rites (that’s rites, not rights), and two, I have no desire to take the rights away from others who already have achieved them. I only want those due me.

      You already answered the biological, reproductive questions. Perhaps everyone should be tested by a fertility doctor before they are issued a marriage license? And should the marriage be annulled if it fails to produce children I wonder?

      Silly, silly arguments these people make.


  2. Tilly Bud says:

    Sense beats hysteria every time.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Amen, sister. 🙂


  3. SwirlGirl says:

    Is there a love button?

    I am in Canada, and am currently married to the girl of my dreams. I think anyone, anywhere…gay, straight, transgendered, whatever…should have the right to be as happy as I am.

    Thanks for putting this out there.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, SG! I was glad to post it. And thank you for sharing a bit of your happiness here. 🙂


  4. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    This is excellent and I love the graphic you included.

    I strongly agree that the entire institutional discussion surrounding marriage is extremely hypocritical. Now I am not a religious man so it has long been easy for me to feel scorn towards churches and any other faith institutions that took a hardline on marriage. But I have also known many gay people who are religious and care deeply about their faith traditions.

    I talked with a woman once who was a devout Baptist and had been demonized and finally ostracized from her church and her community. The pain she felt was profound and I remember feeling deep sympathy with her but also wonder that she could have grown up gay in that community and then chosen to attend a Baptist university while knowing, all along, that she was gay. Her situation was tragic.

    Like one of your other posters, I live in Canada where gay marriage is legal, as it should be. Even though there are many folks who are against it (including the current right-wing prime minister we’re unfortunate to have in office) they know that the institution is here to stay. The prime minister has made it clear that the matter is settled and he doesn’t want to challenge it because he knows he can’t win. I can only hope that the U.S. (my native land) smartens up on this issue and soon.

    Thank you for sharing this.


  5. Dave, that graphic is great–clarifying and friendly. I also applaud what you write before that, especially your fourth paragraph: SO well put!


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Why thank you, dear. I appreciate that.


  6. When I met Jim, we never thought we would be able to marry each other, so we celebrated the anniversary of the day we met. Then we moved in together, so we added that anniversary to our celebrations. Then California passed Domestic Partnerships, so we got Domestic Partnered (doesn’t have the same ring as “married) and added that anniversary to our celebrations. Then California allowed gay marriages for six months in 2008, so we got married on October 30 and added that anniversary to our celebrations. The California Supreme Court ruled that our marriage remain valid after the majority of Californians took away marriage rights for a minority, which is good because we didn’t want to add another anniversary, the day we were unmarried, to our celebrations.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Congratulations on all those anniversaries. I am hoping that Pennsylvania will allow us to add a new one soon. 🙂

      Thank you so much for all the likes and comments! I was gone from here for a couple of days, and I thank you for cleaning up. Sorry about the dishes I left in the sink.


    1. Thank you. Gosh that was a rare rant for me I think. 🙂 It seems to remain popular. I appreciate the support.


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