Blog for Marriage Equality Day

PA state is looking to add an amendment to define marriage in our state as only between a man and a woman.

In so many ways, this is the wrong way for our society to go. I have friends who happen to be gay – and I have friends who happen to be straight. All of them should have the fundamental right to marry whomever they choose and have that marriage recognized by our government.

While my next opinion may not be popular with some of my gay friends, I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state. To that end, I can’t say that ALL places of worship MUST allow marriages between any couple. My husband and I weren’t married in a church. We eloped and were married by a District Justice. It was a personal decision for us – one that I’m not going to elaborate about in this post. BUT, our marriage has always been recognized by the government – we have legal protections just because we got that marriage license. When one of us has been in the hospital, nobody questions the legal rights of the other to be at the bedside. And we have always been able to use the word “Marriage” – not civil union.

Everybody in this country should be afforded that same right. Regardless of gender, race, socio-economic status.

If a church doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to marry same-sex couples, then the people within that church/religion need to work within the governing bodies within that religion to change that structure. Some priests won’t marry non-Catholics, so mixed religious couples go elsewhere – to me, it’s kinda the same thing. HOWEVER, the government should not discriminate against same-sex couples who want to be married and are willing to make that lifetime commitment. All couples should be allowed to go to the local courthouse and tie the knot, jump the broom, seal the deal.

Same-sex couples do not threaten the stability of same-sex marriages. People are people – divorce rates will still be there, esp. in our society where too many people aren’t prepared for marriage (again, a subject for another post). Children in same-sex marriage families DESERVE the same respect/protection as children of different-sex marriage families, divorced families, single parent homes, etc.

Forty years ago, in many states, it was illegal for people of different races to be married. Have we not learned from that? Bi-racial marriages thrive and falter just like same-race ones do.

And before somebody points out that our government was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, yes, to some extent that is somewhat true. However, the government also recognized that there are different religions out there and people should be free to worship without government interference or a state-religion. People who get on their religious high-horse about “one nation under God” don’t quite know their history – that bit was added to our Pledge of Allegiance during the 1950s, during the height of the Red Scare when the threat of communism was everywhere (if you listened to a few select people in power). Please stop using God as an excuse to deny adults their constitutional right to pursue happiness.

So, religious views should stay out of any discussion on whether or not the state/government recognizes the lifelong commitment between 2 adults.

I find it…ridiculous.. that in many states, you can get married before you’re 18 (if you’re marrying somebody of the opposite sex, of course). Before you’re legally allowed to drink that champagne at your reception. However, we make it illegal for 2 adults, over 18, consenting adults who may have children, either by previous marriage or adoption, or some other means, to marry??????? It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Marrying too young, not being emotionally mature — these are what weaken the institution of marriage. Brides who want the wedding but have no clue about what it takes to make a lifetime commitment to somebody who may not give into your every whim – and thus, get divorced 2 yrs later – they weaken marriage. Not if Jane marries Jane instead of John.

So, if any PA state legislature folks stumble on my blog, please keep this in mind. I vote. I vote based on several issues – equality for all citizens being high up on my list. So please, do NOT vote for any amendment that restricts marriage. In fact, PLEASE DO sponsor legislation that recognizes marriage between consenting ADULTS, regardless of gender or race.

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