If you are in love, go ahead, throw a party, exchange rings, say your vows, and announce to the entire world you’re in love and want to share the rest of your life with this person. You can even say you’re married. Shout it from the rooftops. I’m married to my same-sex partner! Be married. Buy a house together. Make a life together. No one is stopping you. The police aren’t going to arrest you. Marriage in the romantic sense – the part where you commit to love and cherish each other ‘til death do you part (or until you change your mind) – doesn’t require government approval. The two of you can make that promise to each other without involving anyone else, but good luck turning those romantic promises into a legally-enforceable marriage without the government’s approval.
In the eyes of the law, marriage is a contract formed between two consenting adults (of opposite gender). The contract is an exchange of promises. The couple promises to take care of each other and any children resulting from the marriage (even if the marriage terminates, responsibility for minor children continues). Taking care of each other includes being a defacto guardian in the event one spouse becomes temporarily or permanently unable to make decisions on their own behalf; it also includes sharing financial assets and being mutually responsible for each spouse’s individual financial decisions, as well as being financially responsible for supporting the children. The couple also promises fidelity to each other. Love is presumed, but it’s not mandated. So stop arguing love because it has nothing to do with the legal fundamentals of a marriage contract.
The question is not why should same-sex marriage be legal? The question is why should same-sex marriage be illegal? Americans don’t answer to our government. Our government answers to us. The government is required to prove to us why a particular activity is so dangerous to the general welfare of the entire nation that we should limit its practice. When President Clinton passed the Defense of Marriage Act, the American people were asleep at the wheel. Everyone thought, “I’m not gay, so this really doesn’t apply to me” or, “God says being gay is immoral and it should be illegal.” Neither of these are proper justifications for a government restriction of same-sex marriage.
Though Christianity may be the majority religion in the United States of America, we are governed by the Constitution and not The Holy Bible. Everyone who is against homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage because that’s what they learned in church needs to reread the Doctrine of Separation of Church and State. It means the government is prohibited from enforcing religious teachings as law. Freedom of religion means the right to practice your religion peacefully and without undue government restriction. To all the people who think they don’t need to be concerned with same-sex marriage because they aren’t gay and don’t care, I got news for you. Complacency is the first step to catastrophe. When the government comes looking for the rights you hold dear, you’ll wish your neighbors gave a damn.
Look, I’m not trying to be a fear-monger, but the government is filled with stupid yet amazingly talented power-hungry jerks that are really good at creating their own necessity. We need to be ever-vigilant in protecting our rights and the rights of our neighbors, otherwise they will erode over time and our children and grandchildren will learn about freedom in the history books.
In the spirit of keeping the government at bay, I demand a showing of proof that same-sex marriage is a threat to the general welfare of the nation. I demand a showing of proof that same-sex marriage endangers the children of same-sex couples. I demand a showing of proof that same-sex marriage puts society’s most vulnerable members at a heighted risk of abuse and manipulation. I demand a showing of proof that same-sex marriage unduly jeopardizes the safety of either spouse. “Because God says so” is not a showing of proof the government recognizes.
Stop arguing religion. Your God does not govern the United States of America. Religion is irrelevant to lawmaking. If anything, by continuing to argue Christianity’s prohibition of homosexuality as the justification for the government’s prohibition of same-sex marriage, you’re turning the government into an enforcer of your religious teachings, i.e. the law will be automatically disqualified by the Supreme Court. Practice your religion. Uphold the teachings of your religion. Share the teachings of your religion. Protest homosexuality if your religion dictates that it’s immoral. Shout from the rooftop that you hate homosexuals. You have a qualified right to verbalize your opinion. No one is stopping you. No one is going to arrest you. Why? Because you live in the United States of America and we protect your right to peacefully practice and promote your religion even when we think you’re a bigoted asshole. This is a sacred value to us, one that we found to be so essential to the human existence that we left our homeland, took a long boat ride into the unknown, and established an entirely new country to promote religious tolerance after a particularly bloody war with our former fathers. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom of the press. Freedom to petition and assembly. Freedom of association. Freedom is the foundation of this great nation of ours.
If someone can show me proof that legalizing same-sex marriage would have adverse consequences for the general welfare of the nation that are so significant that the least harmful course of action would be to limit the basic civil liberties of an entire class of persons, and/or that legalizing same-sex marriage would cause harm to specific classes of individuals whom the government has a duty to protect, then I will reconsider my stance that same-sex marriage should be legal. Until then, same-sex marriage should be legal because there is no government-recognized reason for it not to be.