Yep. I’m going there.
See my sidebar for discussion guidelines. Lashon hara or nastiness will be deleted.
This issue has overtaken not only national politics, but people’s common sense. It’s a ridiculous corollary to put forth that once men and women start marrying their own gender, suddenly people are going to want to marry their dogs, or Bessie the Cow (or, you know, the Eiffel Tower). It’s also completely offensive and unconscionable to put incestuous or abusive relationships in the same category as loving, stable, monogamous and healthy gay and lesbian relationships.
I think we can all come up with way too many examples of heterosexual irresponsibility and deviance that put the “we are more moral than them” argument to rest. Hugh (he, to me, is one of the most egregious – talk about heterosexual deviance), Rush, Kim, Bill (pick one), Newt, Brittney . . . the list goes on. When thinking about these individual’s various behaviors, all of them are legal (and Kim and Brittney’s cases, sanctioned by law). Even though most of us agree they are immoral. And that is as it should be. I of course think all of these people’s behavior is disgusting. But it is between two (or, in some cases, more than two) CONSENTING ADULTS. Which, even though immoral and gross, is not anyone else’s business. Certainly not the government’s. I believe very deeply in secular government, which is why I believe the mingling of religion in the legality of monogamous unions needs to be done away with.
The Jewish Press published this article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Monday. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am not a fan of the way he has embraced the flashy side of media for his own purposes. I also do not agree with his stance on homosexuality in general – which is not a huge surprise coming from a Reform Jew :D That said, in my opinion this article is spot-on.
Civil Unions for ALL. EVERYONE would have the same secular legal rights and protections as everyone else. “Marriage” can be left up to each couple’s faith and faith institutions. Half of Europe operates this way. It makes total sense to me. This way, faith institutions can follow their conscience and beliefs and either sanctify a union between two consenting adults, or not. This would not affect in any way laws protecting children, or other at-risk groups. The “age of consent” would still, of course, be in effect. The age of consent to marry in Ohio is 16 with parents’ permission, 18 without. FYI.
The key, for me, is the words “two consenting adults.” I am pretty sure you can be an atheist and completely secular and know, for example, that child brides are inherently wrong. It hurts children. I do not need God to tell me that’s not good. However, there are some faiths still today that believe God tells them it IS good. There are countries where child marriage is rampant (Google it – I refuse to link to some of this). “God” and “Faith” and “Religion” are used for both great good and great evil. And “God,” “Faith,” and “Religion” should have nothing to do with whether or not a partner can have access to his/her partner’s medical records or access to the hospitalized partner at all. Or tax protections and benefits. Or legal recognition of parenthood. Etc.
If your religion and/or beliefs guide you towards believing that same-gender marriage is wrong, and you are a clergy person, you have every right not to sanctify that union under the auspices of your religion. THANK GOD, our country does not, and should not, force you to officiate when it is clearly against your religious beliefs. The reverse ought to be true. And yet, currently, most states have legislated against marriage equality, with religion as it’s foundation argument (admitted or not). This is simply wrong.
Our government looks the other way when 86 year old Hugh shnuggles with his 19 year old girlfriends (on TV no less). If he married one of them, they would be afforded all the legal protections the law provides. They are two consenting, legal adults.
Two 30 year old women, two consenting, legal adults, who have been in their committed, healthy, monogamous relationship for years, cannot legalize their union in most states, and have to jump through hundreds of legal hoops, costing thousands of dollars and untold hours and paperwork, just to make sure, for example, that they can legally protect each other in case of hospitalization – something legally married people take for granted.
Religion must be put aside. Civil Unions For All. And, if you want, a chuppah and a rabbi a few days later.