What started as a great day with the election of Barack Obama as president quickly turned sour with the passing of Proposition 8 in California. The message to gay people is clear. Even in a state known for its liberalness, gays are considered sub-human. It is a disheartening message.
I’ve never heard a non-religious reason to ban gay marriage. If someone has one, I’d be interested in hearing it. In the meantime, I have to lay the denial of gays’ right to pursue happiness at the feet of the majority of Christian institutions in this country. I’m not going to argue Biblical interpretation… if you want info on that see the “Gay and Christian” links in the menu to the right of this blog.
My take on it is that people are afraid. Gays don’t fit into how they (conservative Christians, et. al.) think the world should work so they try to deny their existence as fellow humans deserving full rights. If the order is broken, chaos will result. And yet, Canada, Spain, Massachusetts, etc. have not been swallowed up by chaos. All legalize gay marriage. The fear is completely unfounded and yet people still cling to it.
So where do we go from here? For one, my church recognizes gay marriages. I could certainly marry in a religious ceremony right here in discriminatory Michigan; it just wouldn’t be a legal civic ceremony. But, why not? Do we really want to continue to allow our government to privilege certain religious beliefs over others? How is that different from other places in the world against whom we speak out as being religiously intolerant?
So where do we go from here? In some sense, the whole marriage idea is assimilationist… give us the right to marriage and we’ll be good little invisible gay people… that tact isn’t working. Maybe we should give it up. Maybe we need some civic protests… a little marching in the streets… The Religious Powers are not going to give up the hold they have on society through the enforcement of the heterosexual family just because it is the right thing to do. We need to demand it. In our town halls, through our state and federal congresses, in our streets and most especially in our churches!