Some Thoughts On Gay Rights and Gay Marriage

While I’m a supporter of gay rights, I can’t say I’ve been particularly involved in the community. That is to say, while I’ve always defended their rights in conversation with others, I’ve never been involved in any organized effort. But, I feel the need to share a few views here that I hope might help, though it’s entirely possible that this has been thought of already.

First, regarding civil unions and marriage, this whole deal with using separate terminology isn’t going to work. Separate terms lead to separate classes of citizenry. Certainly, having civil unions could be called progress, but it also sets a double standard. None of this is anything new to the movement. I saw an idea on a piece on the Huffington Post that I really liked though: for all couples, heterosexual, homosexual, or any other lifestyle, make civil unions the legal form of marriage, the contract that two people enter into, and have it accessible to any two people. The term marriage will then be reserved purely for religious and spiritual purposes, and will be unregulated by the state. There are plenty of churches and religious groups who would perform a marriage ceremony for homosexual couples. And the marriage would be all about spiritual laws, while the civil union would be what is used to insure all legal rights that are currently reserved for marriage.

Of course, this won’t happen overnight, though I hope to see it happen someday. In the meantime, I have a suggestion for homosexual couples who are up for it. Get married anyway. Then, whenever it’s not a legal issue (for instance, don’t claim you’re married on your taxes, it won’t go well), tell everyone that you’re married to your partner. If they talk about the legality of it, simply explain that while it’s not a legal marriage, you are spiritually married and that marriage is recognized by your religious group, even if not by the state. Make it a point to use the term marriage, because as more people do so, it will undermine groups who want to define marriage as between a man and a woman. If everyone else uses the term marriage for all couples, it will come to be seen that way. Then, it will be easier to claim your right to marry legally as well as spiritually. If this were successful enough, it might not even be necessary to separate marriage and civil unions the way I described above, though I still think it would be a good idea, simply to have the secular issues dealt with secularly and the religious issues dealt with religiously.

I’m certainly aware that some couples wouldn’t want to do this. For some, they don’t like their relationship being in the open due to societal pressure. For others, they want to enjoy their relationship instead of spending their life pushing and pushing for equal rights. And there are certainly other valid reasons people might have for not doing this. The point is, for those who are in the right kind of committed relationship, and don’t have issues about being vocal about it, proclaiming their spiritual marriage will hopefully help make people see marriage as valid for all couples as time goes on.

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