California’s Prop 8 is nothing new. Other states have essentially banned gay marriage by “defining” marriage as a union between a man and woman. The question is: who gave them the right?

I fully understand that most religious organizations and other organizations consider homosexual relations to be immoral. That’s their prerogative! No one has to approve of (or engage in) homosexual relations unless they want to! Somewhere along the line, however, governments got involved. Now stop and think about that for a minute! We are in a society where the governments are into the business of who can marry who. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like something a government should keep at arms length.

I’m a pragmatist, however, and understand that that’s the way it is — and the way it has been for literally hundreds of years: you need government permission (state, county, city — whatever) to get married. Some say there are good reasons for government involvement in marriage: to track who’s married to who — for income tax purposes being the chief one of those reasons. OK, I guess I can buy that . . . even though the reason the income tax code needs to differentiate between married people and unmarried people is very fuzzy.

What’s not fuzzy is the fact that our governments (states as well as Federal) are fully invested in the business of bringing religion into the marriage licensing process; and I say that because the main reason those who are opposed to gay marriage are so opposed is because they say homosexuality is “immoral”! Where do you suppose they got that idea? Could it have been from mainstream religions? The other argument against gay marriage is that it “redefines” marriage . . . well I guess that depends on whos definition you are using.

Going beyond Proposition 8: such a proposition should not have been necessary because the original court ruling, allowing gays to marry, should not have been necessary; because the basic definition of marriage is simply two people falling in love and vowing to spend their lives together. That arrangement, regardless of who the two people are, should automatically be accepted by every government! Rejecting that arrangement should not, in fact, be a government option.

Essentially, state governments by adopting rules against gay marriages are adopting religious teachings and beliefs and codifying them within their state Constitutions. That represents everything that the Founding Fathers, the framers of our constitution, did NOT want to happen. Freedom of religion means just what it says and if a religious organization wants to bless a marriage between two men or two women the government should not only stand back and not interfere, the government should remain completely uninterested.

Keith Oberman, the MSNBC news commentator, presented a beautifully logical, yet impassioned dialogue berating those who had the nerve to vote FOR Proposition 8; that dialogue has been captured on YouTube — I strongly urge everyone on either side of the issue to click this link and watch it.

News Links:

International Herald Tribune: After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.

San Jose Mercury News: California may vote on gay marriage again in 2010

Blog Links:

Sweat Tears or the Sea: Traditional Family DOES NOT Equal Homophobia

Instant Pride: Proposition 8 protests planned across the US

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