Wednesday, November 04, 2009

getting along

Yesterday we had an issue bring people to the polls in droves usually reserved for election years. I heard 60% of the registered Maine voters came out to the polls... incredible for having no candidates, but still sad that we're jumping up and down over 40% off the people staying home. Regardless, I think it's pretty universally accepted that people came to vote their hearts on the gay marriage law.

I've not once hidden my support for the rights for gays-- and everyone, really, who wants to-- to marry. I have a lot of personal reasons for this, including a gay uncle whom I adore. I have lesbian friends in committed relationships who don't get to refer to their significant other in the same way I get to refer to mine, just because 'she' is not a 'he'. I also believe that God created some people to fall in love with people of the same sex. I know what the Bible says, and what the conventional teachings are, but I also distinctly remember being in high school and learning that Martin Luther believed retarded children should be left to die. What I took away from that is that God has His Word, but humans are the ones to write it down, and could very well have left something out in translation. I don't pretend to know why God does all He does, and I don't pretend to understand why some people are homosexual. I also don't understand why some people hate them for that, or how that is part of His plan either. I do know that no one would choose to be isolated, despised, threatened, attacked, disowned or killed because of who they love.

Now, I also do not believe that everyone voting Yes on One is homophobic or ready to go out and lynch someone: that would be as ridiculous as saying that everyone who voted No is a homosexual themselves. Many of my dear friends voted Yes, and did so because they believed it was the right thing to do. I respect that. Truly. I may not agree with it, but I respect anyone who thinks through an issue and comes to a decision based on what they think is right, and then responsibly acts on that decision.

I do sincerely hope that someday homosexuals can marry in the same way that blacks and whites now can. (Well, can anywhere except Louisanna...) In my eyes, when the church allowed the state to sanction civil unions (heterosexual couples not getting married in a church) as marriages, it became a legal term and not an exclusively religious one. Should a church choose not to marry a couple, gay or straight, I have no problems with that. But the state cannot say the same thing. We stand for equality among all, even when we all don't agree. But I also want my friends to know, who feel as strongly as I do in the opposite direction, that I respect your position and hope you can respect mine. We don't have to agree, but we do have to get along. I like getting along. Getting along is what is best for all of us, no matter what we feel about any of it.


hoyden said...

It is my understanding that all marriages are civil unions. If the state allows two consenting adults to marry, they should allow all consenting adults to marry. You are married in the eyes of the state when you sign the marriage certificate that is validated by an appropriate person (justice of the peace, minister, priest, rabbi, captain, Universal Life Church Web site subscriber, etc.). It's the piece of paper that the state wants, not the mumbo-jumbo that the church says.

The church performs it's own marriage ceremony, and yes, every church should be able to say who they agree to sanction or not.

So, you don't want to join a church that marries homosexuals? Fine. I don't think the state should get involved, however.

Oh, Maine. I had such high hopes for you.

Wendy said...

I was so disappointed by the vote.

As a Notary Public, I can (and have) perform "marriage ceremonies." It has nothing to do with religion, and in fact, I would say that most of the people I've "married" probably don't share my beliefs, which is fine - they don't have to, and we've never even discussed religion prior to the ceremony. Marriage is a 'LEGAL' contract, and nothing more. If it were more, then the courts wouldn't have anything to do with absolving the "union."

Frankly, heterosexual marriage in this country isn't so very successful, either. We have a 50% divorce rate. It just boggles my mind how to so many people 'marriage' is a solemn contract between God and the couple who choose to marry, and yet ....

Anyway. Very disappointing - so says a happily married heterosexual homeschooling mom with five kids and a granddaughter.