June 10, 2006

Gay Marriage is a Church-State Issue

If you stop strangers on the street and ask them whether they support a ban on gay marriage, you will find many who do. If you ask them why, you will hear a range of replies, many having something to do with "the sanctity of marriage." But where does this notion come from? Beneath the surface, you will soon uncover religious motivation.

The debate over gay marriage is rarely described in the mainstream media as a church-state issue, but it is exactly that. I have yet to hear a relevant argument against gay marriage that didn't have religious roots. The Christian bible is ambiguous and inconsistent on many issues, but homosexuality doesn't appear to be one of them. Banning gay marriage is an obvious example of Christian extremists attempting to legislate their particular brand of religious "morality."

According to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Senate's debate over the federal marriage amendment never should have happened. I agree with their analysis that this was simply a case of political posturing by the GOP, always determined to appease their Christian extremist base. As AU notes, the vote provides the GOP with material for attack ads (e.g., Candidate X is anti-family, etc.).

I believe that the best chance of success in opposing this legislation (something tells me we haven't seen the last of it) is to remind Americans that preventing homosexuals from marrying is discriminatory. Just like Jim Crow laws or opposing women's' suffrage, it is discriminatory. If we have learned anything from history, it is that discriminatory practices are wrong and will be viewed as an embarrassment by our children.

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