Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The real issue behind gay marriage
Sam Smith – The gay marriage case before the Supreme Court is not really about gay marriage as much as it is about something that isn’t being talked about much: freedom of religion.
The Constitution calls upon the government to make no law "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
If there was true freedom of religion in this country, it is clear that gay marriage would be legal everywhere.
Once you remove the legal gobbledygook from the arguments, what is driving the efforts against gay marriage is a small group of Chistian evangelists.
A recent poll, for example, find that even 60% of Catholics support gay marriage as do 62% of mainline white Protestants, 77% of Jews, 84% of Buddhists and 55% of Hindus. Another poll found that even 40% of evangelical millennials support it and 60% of Republican millennials under 30.
Among the religions approving or accepting gay marriage to some degree one finds Episcopalians, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, and Unitarians. There is even acceptance in American Indian culture – the concept of two spirit people as described by Wikipedia:
Not all tribes have rigid gender roles, but, among those that do, some consider there to be at least four genders: masculine man, feminine man, masculine woman, feminine woman. The presence of male-bodied two-spirits "was a fundamental institution among most tribal peoples" and, according to Will Roscoe, both male- and female-bodied two-spirits have been documented "in over 130 North America tribes, in every region of the continent."
Which pretty much leaves you with evangelical Christians, Mennonites, Seventh Day Adventists, Orthodox Jews, Theravada Buddhists and Catholic officials (albeit not a majority of their congregation) who think gay marriage is unacceptable or evil.
The opponents like to cite tradition in defense of their position, but in reality the tradition they are speaking of is a religious one based on the faith to which they belong. And there is no way tradition should get to trump the Constitution in court.
Thus, should the Supreme Court rule against universal gay marriage, it essentially will be granting superior legal status to some religions over others. If you are a running water Baptist in Alabama your view on this religious matter will carry the force of law while Unitarians will have to accept your view or move to another state
And that’s about as unconstitutional as it gets.
My easy and fully legal alternative, as I have noted before: if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay.
Posted by Sam Smith at 12:22 PM