The absurdity of the stereotype(s) being perpetuated by the people and legislators of the state of Tennessee alone is its own blog, but let us begin with the bones of the overall issue.
How many of you are actually familiar with the 1st Amendment, or any of the Supreme Court decisions further clarifying it over the last couple of hundred years? Since the main ongoing argument I hear about it is the one about the “unGodliness” of it all, I thought that I would try to address this again, because many people apparently remain deeply confused and/or deluded about it.
There is plenty in the original text of the Constitution about equality. You probably know how it goes…that talk of life, liberty, property, “the pursuit of happiness,” etc. etc. Clearly, all of that is debatable, has been since it was written, and is never actually going to be afforded any minority group without a fight, even if they are American citizens and minus any Constitutional language suggesting only equality for the majority. Therefore, perhaps we ought not waste our time on that.
What typically confounds me even more is the continued involvement and influence of the government in the issue of “marriage,” particularly when openly founded on at least the interpretation of Biblical principles, and that of religion in the making and passing of laws regarding legal partnership contracts between two consenting, law-abiding, tax-paying adults that have no tangible effect on another living soul outside that relationship. The 1st Amendment, in other words, the first thing on the minds of the founding fathers when generating a Bill of Rights protecting the American individual from the potential abuses of government, begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ….” That should cover it, frankly. If it is true that gay marriage is so reprehensible due to its violation of God’s law, that makes it a purely religious argument, and the government has no business being involved in any way, shape, or form.
Presently, no law, no legislator, no advocacy group on either side of the argument, can legally force a church to marry or prevent a church from marrying anyone. First of all, do you really want to change that, and why? Why in the name of time would anyone open such a huge can of worms that will enable Congress to decide who a church, any church (listen up, Mormons), can or cannot marry? Presently, any couple wanting to marry must have a license, for a fee paid to their local government. If “marriage” is truly a religious issue, open to religious interference regardless of the practices of the marrying couple, how can we need a license we buy from the government? I was raised Catholic. I was baptized and received first communion and confirmation all without a license. And can anyone imagine the hell that would have been raised if the government had dared step into that and try to require one?
So, hypocrites, here’s the thing…either:
A. “marriage” is truly a religious institution, dictated by the Bible and the church, presently being unconstitutionally licensed and taxed by the government, and the church and heterosexual “property” it is being claimed to be, in which case every non-church-based marriage performed in our history should be immediately annulled and every “marriage license” fee refunded to the unfairly taxed individuals or their descendents, that whole practice immediately discontinued, and an entirely different system (and vocabulary) instituted for all people wishing to be bound for life outside the church; OR
B. “marriage” actually does not "belong" to the church; is, in fact, a legal covenant, guaranteeing certain legal rights and privileges to the two aforementioned consenting, law-abiding, tax-paying adults; is entirely outside the realm of religious influence, much less persecution; is exactly one of the certain, inalienable rights of every citizen of this country; and the church, and any such tightly pocketed legislators, need to just back off.