A few days ago (March 11 to be exact), the Maryland legislature voted to table a bill on same sex marriage. The bill had passed in the state’s senate on February 24 and Governor Martin O’Malley had vowed to sign the bill into law if it came to his desk. The bill now goes back to the state’s judiciary committee where it will stay until the legislature reconvenes in 2012.
I’m going to try to keep this short, but I have some very strong feelings on this matter. Same sex relationships have existed for as long as we have been keeping history. This is nothing new. It is not wrong, or disgusting, or unnatural or any of the far worse words that have been used to describe it. It is also not a choice.
Over the years I have heard countless arguments about why same sex marriage should not be legal. I’ve yet to hear a single one that stands up to even the lightest bit of reason.
Argument #1. “It’s blasphemy.”
If that were really true, and you believe that God made us all, then he wouldn’t have made anyone homosexual. Also, if you take the time to really study the Bible in its historical context, you’ll realize that it tells a story that has been told and retold over and over throughout centuries and translations, and that if you go back far enough, the truth is that sodomy does not refer to the practice of anal sex. Sodomy refers to the act of rape. Same sex relationships at the time that the Bible was written have been documented to have been wide-spread. The crime was not in the sexual act, it was in the forcing of one individual to participate in that act without consent.
Argument #2. “It betrays the sanctity of marriage.”
Really? Marriage is about the union of two people who love and honor one another. Whether those two people are a man and a woman or two men or two women, that love and honor is still the basis for the union. It is still cherished and valued the same way. Betraying the sanctity of marriage is not about the two people who enter into it, but about how carefully they choose to enter into it, their commitment to one another and to their marriage.
Argument #3. “Marriage exists for the purpose of reproduction.”
Oye. Ok, so then this isn’t really a gay/straight argument at all is it? This is about whether a couple is marrying for the purpose of producing offspring. So under those guidelines, if you do not know if you want to have children, or if you are unable to have children, you should not be afforded the right to marry. Period. And while we’re at it, if you have married the love of your life and have either chosen not to have children or learned that you are unable to have children, you forfeit that right and the state should then come in and nullify your marriage.
Argument #4. “They have civil unions; why do they even need to get married?”
I can hardly address this one without shaking out of my skin with anger and frustration. Simply, it is a Human Rights issue. The minority should not be treated with any less respect, dignity or access to freedoms, rights and privileges. Two people who love each other should be able to choose marriage and all of the challenges, rights and privileges it affords them, no matter who those two people are.
There are other arguments, I know. But those are the four big ones I typically run into. I don’t claim to know everything, but I do know this. The same sex couples that I know are wonderful, genuine people who love each other. And from where I stand, there is not a reason in the world why they should not have the opportunity to enter into marriage, to love and honor one another and be afforded all of the respect, rights and privileges afforded to any heterosexual couple. Currently five states and the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriage. The tide is changing…slowly, but it is changing. Like all human rights movements in our country’s history, this will be no quick event. Down the road though, we will look back on this and see the error of our ways, and be thankful we’ve righted a terrible wrong.