Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog will likely spark some debate, but I am not sure enough people are watching me for it to end with a laundry list of comments containing “Die Fag Die”.  But I am going to explain what I mean in the title in-depth.  Marriage isn’t a religious concept, and with some of the wide-spread sexual inclinations of human beings within our culture, marriage is an “inevitable” concept.  Human beings like many other animals (birds, monkeys, et cetera) pair off for mating.  This applies whether one’s relationship will bring the behavioral purpose to fruition or not (meaning heterosexual, gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, queer, non-binary, binary, sterile, et cetera all do this as well regardless of whether the relationship will produce children).  It is a natural biological behavior, where sexuality and diversity are the key words.  Most of the opponents of same-sex marriage have no idea how the world actually works when it comes to mating and pairings, and are ignorant of the science supporting the diversity I mentioned.  This is a “problematic stance”, because it ends up being a debate of educated positions against ignorant bigotry.  And that is what it is.

Same-sex marriage opponents argue that homosexuality is “unnatural”, but any study you do of the animal kingdom will show this is not the case.  Some may convert that point to making a point that “humans are above animal instinct” so they shouldn’t engage in something because “animals do it”.  However, humans aren’t above instinct, and something being “an activity of animals” isn’t enough grounds to bar it or levy moral arguments against it.  The most common defense of anti-homosexual sentiments are the religious, but saying that changing the legal definition of marriage is an infringement of “religious freedom” is actually “religion‘s freedom to oppress and force others to abide in its tenets”, and totally misses the point.  Marriage as defined by law is a Legal Principle, not a religious one.  Everything covered in and regulated by law is subject to redefinition, and that is a right set forth by our founding fathers in the constitution and the bill of rights.  Certainly, government can and should not enter churches and demand them (or any private entity) to change who they will and will not be permitted to marry.  However, it is the right of every citizen to petition to change the wording, usage, and meaning of any law, regardless of origin to suit the spirit of equality represented by our constitution.

"I believe in an America where the separa...

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.” – John F. Kennedy (Photo credit: Chris D 2006)

Separation of Church and State.  Right wing bigots often abuse and blatantly overlook this, and lobby for all kinds of laws for the sake of religious ideals. However, it is unlawful and unconstitutional to force those not of your religion to abide by the tenets of your religion.  DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is being found unconstitutional by many both within government and law, and within legal contexts.  The reason it is unconstitutional is loosely because it sets up “religious principle” as law, which was the intent of those who created it.  But mostly it is because it sets up law that restricts freedoms between consenting individuals, freedoms classified as “individual freedom” which our founding fathers were firmly against.  There are plenty of constitutional arguments that can be made for how limiting or prohibiting same-sex couples from the legal status of marriage, but it is hard when even the recognition of protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation isn’t widely recognized.

I have quoted this before, and I truly believe this, “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his/her will, is to prevent harm to others” – John Stuart Mill.  This is a principle ideal of our constitution and an ideal of our founding fathers.  They may not have foreseen this particular matter, but the spirit of the sentiments of separation of church and state, the abstinence from governing individual liberties, and the capacity to amend the constitution as new things, and rights that needed to be recognized arose.  I think, at least in my reads, that our founding fathers understood that law needed to be flexible enough to be expanded, have checks and balances to audit its laws, but have sound enough principles and governance to be able to stand on its own.  DOMA, and other anti-gay sentiments immortalized in law violate that principle, and while civil minded people have no right to enter private institutions and lay mandates, every one of us has equal right to fight and change and redefine the law.  It is our right, one religion can not take from us.

Keep this in mind though, organizations that receive government funding give up some, or should be expected to give up some aspects of “private protections from government regulation“.  Essentially, you can’t receive government funding, and then use that funding in violation of federal principles and laws, like unlawful forms of discrimination.  But we have a long way to do.  We need constitutional amendments, not bills that can easily be repealed, that protect people from discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, and we need carefully crafted legislation to protect them, and provide proper social accommodations for those things.  This includes marriage equality, universal employment protections, and better system for addressing abuses of that right, and to have a universally recognized protection for being harmed for existing.  That is what equality demands of us as a culture.  The words I use to define these things exist only in the cultural context, and there are so many reasons why I won’t address that issue in this blog.  For the purposes of law, that is how it is set.

However, the point I was making is that the definition of marriage that is being argued in courts around the US at current, are the legal definition of marriage, not the religious definition of marriage.  Because it is a law, then it is the right of the citizens to change that in the spirit of equality, ethics and the law.  The harm arguments of the religious right don’t hold water in the fact of actual evidence, which has validity within the spirit of law, not beliefs or superstition.  We are not a Christian nation, we are a secular nation that happens to have Christians within it.  It’s well beyond time for same-sex couples to have the same recognition of rights as any other person does, and that is a fact.  No one has the right to come into our homes and tell us what we can and can’t happen between consenting adults, or govern the rights of them to have protections for those unions.  No one.