So something we have all heard is that Gay people aren’t just asking for civil rights, they are asking for “special” rights.
In light of California’s recent ruling, I thought maybe we can all talk about that a little. First off, I would like to address what Marriage is in religious and civil terms. In religious terms, it is two people consecrating themselves before God and entering into a holy union, going on a journey through which they will be taught more about love and temperance than through any other relationship they have. In civil terms, a marriage is two people combining possessions and resources, and being afforded several civil rights. Marriage means being on each other’s insurance plans and being able to visit each other in the hospital and being able to make decisions about the way in which their children are raised and educated.
Now… Here is where things get sticky. One could give gay people “equal” rights through affording them every civil right that marriage encompasses, but calling it something other than marriage. When gay people say, “hey, hold on, why can’t we just get married” people get irritated. Sometimes the reply is, “what, are you trying to make society put a stamp of approval on your relationship? What, you’ve got to have special rights?”
That infers, then, that marriage is special somehow. Because homosexuals aren’t asking for rights above and beyond what heterosexuals have been afforded, they simply want the same thing we have. So is what we have really so special?
One can point to thousands of years of tradition in which marriage has been between a man and a woman. Okay, that makes sense. But let’s also look at what that marriage between a man and a woman was. A man needed children to inherit his wealth, or work the fields, or keep the family name alive. A man could not get that through another man. So marriage was both “holy” and a civil arrangement that met certain needs. And throughout the ages men left their wives to carry on relationships with other men.
Our society has grown beyond marriage being defined by the production of children. We marry for love now, something which throughout history was not a primary concern when it came to heterosexual union. Were marriage solely about procreation, obviously homosexuals could not enter into it.
But if it is about love and unity, they can.
I’m not going to give a ruling on what I personally think. I just want everyone to ask themselves a few basic questions:
- Is the marriage certificate awarded by the State a stamp of approval on heterosexual coupling?
- Is civil marriage truly equal to religious marriage?
- If homosexuals were to be awarded every right afforded to heterosexuals but we simply called it something else, would what we have still be a special kind of “marriage?”
- Or shall we not give homosexuals all the same rights?
Just think about it.