Originally Posted by enjolras
It's not like Marraige is a club (I'm married myself, btw).. How is the fact that gay people can be married 'forcing' anyone to do anything? After all, atheists can be married just as readily as agnostics just as readily as Christians. Marraige, in and of itself, is not a religious institution.. it's a government one (you can be married by officers of the state after all). There is a SEPERATE religious element.. a spiritual bonding if you will. If Churches want to deny gay people religious sanctioning of marraige, you'll get no complaint from me. To me this seems like something where the only TRUE victim are gay people who want to get married. I just don't see any logical ground that somehow makes the populace at large affected in any way by it..
I just can't see how this is not run of the mill discrimination.
You make some valid points. My grandmother was a judge and married my wife and I, and we also had a Catholic ceremony to validate the marriage for her side of the family. Because that was important to her. Her family wouldn't have respected the marriage if not for the religious ceremony. One of the principle reasons is that the Catholic church requires classes on how to treat each other and actually did some personality tests to highlight possible areas of conflict. I have deep respect for religious people, but I am not religious myself.
Marriage originally was a concept to "legitimize" children by forcing the woman to be with one man (although the man had no such commitment) and not much else. Religion changed that to a union that actually improved a woman's place in society by forcing men to respect their wives and making it more difficult to divorce them. Today, marriage has evolved to include a civil component to protect the spouse's rights in case of death or divorce. But the origin of the ceremony still applies.
To allow gays to marry achieves their goal of professing their love and to protect their rights, but has nothing to do with the original intent of the practice. I have no problem with either of these aspects. If a gay couple has spent their lives together, they have a right to legal protection to their acquired wealth in the event of one's death, and all the other legal benefits that come from marriage. But these are benefits that were added to adapt to today's society, and not applicable to the origins of the ceremony. Give them a civil union to protect these rights, but don't insult thousands of years of tradition by making it the same as a marriage between a man and a woman. The reasons behind it aren't truly the same.
On a side note, I don't think that Bush is against gay "marriage". He stated that he felt it is a decision to be made by the states, not by judges being pressured by special interest groups. Leave it to the people, essentially. And our society is not comfortable with the concept, hopefully because of the position I explained above and not because they feel that the only right gays are entitled to is a discount on KY jelly. But you never know. I don't feel that we are a totally ignorant society, just one that holds true to it's traditions. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but sometimes ignorance IS bliss.