Growing up in some small communities of rural Wisconsin did not afford me the opportunity to get to know many gay people. It wasnâ€™t until attending college, and later spending six years in the tour and travel industry, that I met people with lifestyles that challenged my own traditional views of sexual orientation.
To me, opposition to same sex marriage comes down to religion. If you remove religion from the equation, there is simply no sensible reason to deny someone the right to love another human being, regardless of sexual preferences.
Many people falling back on religious convictions will tell you that allowing same sex marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage. They will tell you that only God can define marriage and he defines it as one man joining one woman.
But in reality, gay couples donâ€™t care at all about destroying the sanctity of marriage. They care about being able to share benefits, use tax advantages, receive an inheritance and be at the deathbed of a loved one. They care about being afforded the same rights that all traditional married couples currently enjoy.
The religious objection fails to take into account core beliefs, other than God, that helped found this great country. In part, America was founded on the freedom to practice whatever type of religion one sees fit, free of government influence. Having tolerance for the beliefs and rights of others is what all Americans should strive to achieve. Using your beliefs to restrict the rights of others is wrong and is opposite what being an American is all about.
I want to make sure I emphasize that religion still has a critical place in our society. Having a moral code to live by that emphasizes right from wrong is important. I support the sense of charity, through giving, that religion fosters. Certainly, itâ€™s better than no moral compass. I think weâ€™re beginning to see what happens in society when people have no moral compass.
The bottom line is that if conservatives donâ€™t accept what is clearly a shift in cultural and social views, then they should be prepared to lose future elections. The competition has "evolved." A recent ABC news poll showed that 81% of young Americans supported same sex marriage. Liberals are catering to a young voting bloc that is getting larger and more influential by the day.
However, the problems with defining marriage are not solely the fault of the religious right. Not even close.
Since there is no constitutional amendment and marriage is never specifically mentioned, many of the states have taken it upon themselves to define marriage. In fact, you will often see rallies and marches where scores of liberals will be showing support for same sex legislation on state ballots.
However, this very action glaringly reveals their hypocrisy on the issue.
You see, if you support Vermontâ€™s right to define marriage in a way that supports same sex unions, then you must, YOU MUST, support North Carolinaâ€™s right to also define marriage in a way that outlaws same sex unions. What states specifically choose to do is irrelevant if you support a stateâ€™s right to define marriage.
If you choose to take different stances on the right of both Vermont and North Carolina to define marriage, then you are letting your personal politics define the issue for you. These same personal politics are what religious folks use when trying to exclude two people that love each other from getting married.
You see, the entire issue is muddled with people using personal politics and a lack of understanding of the Constitution. One side wants states to only have rights on issues they agree with, while the other side wants to use their religious freedoms to restrict the rights of others. Hopefully you can see the hypocrisy of both sides?
I support the right of Americans to marry whoever they see fit, free of government influence. Government shouldnâ€™t be involved in marriage. Furthermore, there shouldnâ€™t be any financial reward or penalty for being married. Taking away these advantages will take away the demand for certain Americans to no longer be excluded, and to be treated equally under the law.
One solution could be to create civil union legislation that guarantees same sex couples the same sweeping rights as traditional married couples. Gay civil unions can then pay taxes and be miserable like the rest of us (except for me, of course). This will also allow the term "marriage" to remain exclusively a religious term of one man and one woman, as defined by God.
The all-important sanctity of marriage would remain intact and everyone walks away with a compromise.
Denying someone the right to be happy is exactly the type of thing people left Europe to escape. Surely both sides can recognize their own political and religious bias and would be able put these aside to find a solution that is fair to ALL Americans?
I think I know the answer to that question.
Interesting that the Roman Catholic Church is opposed to Gay marriage when in the early years of the church the church, actually, had a marriage ceremony that maried two men. Bet most priests do not know that even with 40% of priests are Gay. Suppose a later bigoted straight pope did away with this ceremonyi, for one, stopped going to mass in 1968. I figured that since the catholic church did want Gays, i did not need the catholic Church. Never gone back.
Jeff | April 3, 2013 at 12:19 p.m. (report)
"Separate but equal" never works. Nice try.
Jeff | April 3, 2013 at 9:11 a.m. (report)
"Separate but equal" never works. Nice try.
The concept of a 'civil union' recognized by the government is exactly what should have been pursued in the first place instead of 'gay marriage.' If it's truly the benefits sought after by gay couples, then a civil union solves that problem quite easily and preserves 'marriage' for those we opt for a man/woman relationship.
I do find it ironic how those who scream bloody murder about the separation of church & state are the same people who are demanding government recognize a concept (marriage) that has 2000+ years of biblical/religious meaning.
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by John Mumper
Published May 6, 2016
Consider this John Mumper's official endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. He certainly didn't think it would come to this. Endorse Hillary? What on Earth? A vote for a third-party choice isn't going to be enough repudiation of Trump conservatism.
Published Jan. 15, 2014
2013 was the year of the bigot. There were many examples of alleged media fueled bigotry. The most famous were from celebrities such as Paula Deen, Alec Baldwin and Phil Robertson. However, there were millions and millions of less publicized examples throughout the country last year.
Published Nov. 15, 2013
I'd like to first start by thanking you for your investment in Milwaukee baseball. I'm old enough to remember the glory days, as well as the dry spell that came afterwards. As a diehard baseball fan, I appreciate all you have done to return Brewers baseball to respectability. It's with the goal of keeping the Brewers relevant in the long term that I write this letter.
Published Nov. 3, 2013
I was intrigued for several reasons by the recent comments from Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke. Most surprising was her courage in finally taking a stance on any topic related to Wisconsin politics. However, it was her comments about education, and her trust in mother government, that got my attention.
Published Oct. 18, 2013
I must make a confession. At the risk of being labeled a RINO, I need to express my support for universal health care. Before being trashed by my fellow fiscal conservatives and being hailed by hapless progressives, let me explain.
Published Oct. 9, 2013
The Boston bombing incident highlighted a new and disturbing trend in America. As the Boston police searched for the remaining suspect, they proceeded to enter homes in a forceful and right-seizing manner. While many residents willingly allowed heavily armed police to enter their home in the frantic search, others weren't allowed their constitutional rights.
Published Aug. 6, 2013
The media has spent the last few years doing a great job of redrawing the lines of bigotry. It used to be that action predicated bigotry. Today, simply having a religious belief that opposes gay marriage will brand you as a bigot. This subtle change is no mistake and has been effective in turning the conversation of bigotry from actions to beliefs.
Published July 12, 2013
A recent Journal Sentinel watchdog article highlighted one of the many problems with how residents qualify for financial assistance. This article revealed how landlords and the self employed can receive state aid based on the honor system. In essence, we're talking about receiving thousands of tax payer dollars without being verified that economic assistance is even needed.
Published June 26, 2013
Recently, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin presented an idea that caught my attention. In a nutshell, he wants to require city contractors to disclose money contributed to political groups. The result would be that the mayor could then cherry pick which groups the city works with based upon political ideologies and not who is the best company for the job.
Published June 13, 2013
The Edward Snowden case is a fascinating look at the changing political climate in America. People who base their political outlooks on the Constitution are up in arms. The outrageous invasion of privacy is nothing new but is, all the same, alarming. I cannot support any policy that allows the government to freely spy on Americans not suspected of a crime.