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Municipally Acknowledged Rights & Responsibilities In A Gay Environment

At the risk of being labeled a bigot, I am getting really bored with the quagmire into which the whole Gay Marriage debate seems to have fallen.

To some Marriage is a union defined by Statute and Common Law, to others it is a Sacrament sanctioned by God and recognized in Heaven. I'm guessing that to the majority it is a bit of both.

Activists on both sides of the debate are seeking to blur these lines in an attempt to win an argument that is ultimately unwinnable.

I see no problem in amending Statutes and creating precedent to enable two people of the same sex to enter into a legally recognized Marriage. Whether or not to apply existing incest laws would make for a much more interesting debate than the one we are enduring at the moment.

I have every objection to attempts to overturn the First Amendment by allowing the State to interfere in Religion, or visa versa.

Politicians have no business in telling Rabbi's, Ministers, Imans, whom they must bind together in Marriage in the eyes of their respective Gods. Equally, said Rabbis, Ministers and Imans have no business in telling politicians or judges which unions should be recognized by Statute and Common Law.

The Gay Marriage debate rightly belongs in two forums, one earthly, political; and the other heavenly, religion. What happens in one arena should not be taken out of context in the other.

Religions are free to decide on their own rules, within the limits of Statute and common law, that is they may add additional prohibitions over and above the prohibitions that we all have to follow, but they cannot impose these rules on anyone. If adherents of a particular religion wish to abstain from eating pork or driving motor vehicles, that is up to them. In a democracy, we have to follow the law of the land, and are free to follow the laws of whatever Gods we believe in provided they don't contravene these laws of the land, not the other way round.

In the same way, religions should be allowed to marry anyone who can marry under the laws of man, but should not be forced to endorse any union that contravenes their religion, irrespective of how objectionable we may find that opposition. And yes, I do include mixed race marriages within that.

Followers of any religion are just as free as anyone else to lobby, canvass, contribute or vote to influence public policy.  Those that wish to use public policy to change a religions' beliefs or practices had better think long and hard about the consequences of opening this particular can of worms.

So let us have two Gay Marriage debates, one a political one for the country as a whole, to decide whether to extend the rights and responsibilities that go with marriage to same sex couples; and the other for individual religions, to decide whether their Gods are for or against Gay Marriage.

The current debate has become counterproductive and divisive and is benefiting no one. Proponents of Gay Marriage, who are trying to achieve equal standing for same sex marriage in the eyes of God, are going to end up just as disappointed as the opponents of Gay Marriage will be when same sex marriage achieves equal standing in law.

Personally I am in favor of extending the same rights and responsibilities to same sex unions; I see it as an individual choice that does not require governmental interference. I could make a case for differentiating for tax purposes between childless couples and those that are benefiting society by raising children, but I would not base this on gender. But other than providing an environment that promotes propagating the species, or going forth and multiplying, I see no reason for discriminating between couples who choose to make a commitment to live with each other, for better or for worse, in richness and in health, as long as they both shall live.

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