Monday, August 6, 2012


Charleen's been writing blog posts like crazy lately! She's been gently prodding me to post something so that she doesn't feel like she's completely taken over our blog. I mentioned something about the Bears the other day and she responded that it sounded like good blog material. *hint, hint, nudge, nudge* I just feel like all I have been writing about lately (when I've written something) has been football. Especially with the season starting in a month, I'll probably be writing a lot more about it, so I'd like to write about something else for a change.

It's an issue that's been in the news, in ads, and on facebook a lot lately. I've been trying to avoid posting about it in any form until I had really thought about what my opinion is. The issue is gay marriage. Now, I realize it's an issue that crops up in many different forms from politics and law to the boy scouts and even to advertising. I'm going to try to focus only on the law part in the interests of not making this post 10 pages long.

Should gay marriage be legalized across the entire US? In my opinion, the answer to this question is a simple yes. Now, if you haven't decided to boycott this blog, send me hate mail, or any other ridiculous reaction to someone sharing a personal opinion, I'll explain why.

For a long time, I was in the camp that thought that gay marriage should be legalized, but it should be called something other than marriage. I've always believed that gay couples who are committed to each other deserve the same legal rights as any other married couple. Tax breaks, insurance for significant other, etc... So the way I saw it, they could have something that legally gave them the same benefits but called something different (legal union, whatever) so that there would be no argument over the word marriage. I think there has been some argument over where the word "marriage" actually originated, but the point that really changed my view was atheists. Not their views, but the fact that an atheist man and woman can get married. A judge performs the ceremony and it has 100% nothing to do with religion. So, if one couple that specifically believes that there is no God can use the legal ceremony of marriage to gain the same legal benefits that religious couples can, why can't any other couple do the same? That line of reasoning really settled me on my opinion of the matter, because in my mind, there is no logical reason to offer that legal right to one couple and not to another.

Since I’m feeling generous today, I’ll make one last point. One argument I hear all the time is “God defined marriage as between a man and a woman.” To that I say, find me the part where God said that married couples get tax, insurance, and social security benefits and we’ll talk.

The topic of accepting gay marriage as a law is not a religious issue. It's being made into one, but it really shouldn't be. It is a civil rights issue. A gay couple has the right to live together if they want, to adopt children if they so choose, but they don't have the right to treat their partner as their spouse? Sounds like civil rights infringement to me. Feel free to respond and discuss. I love hearing different views on any subject as long as it’s civil and well-reasoned.


  1. Pat, you have a lot a good reasoning. I’m not sure I can say anything to oppose without being labeled with hate but I have no hate for the gay community. As a Christian, however, I do believe that marriage is a religious establishment. God established marriage between a man and a woman. He did so because in creating them, he designed them to go together; emotionally and physically. Marriage in the bible is defined as becoming one. I, personally don’t even know why anyone who isn’t religious would want to be married except because it has been made into a civil rights issue. It is only because of our laws that there are benefits for this; and that is where most of the desire comes from. Now, when you relate atheists getting married I see your point, and I agree that it doesn’t make sense that they can get married and not gays, if it is religious. I feel though, that the reason why this doesn’t have the same affect or opposition is because of the definition of marriage and the sexual and emotional union. It is still within God’s design for a male and female to complement each other both emotionally and physically. In the case of gay marriage however, it is out of God’s design altogether emotionally and physically. God designed man and women to come together to show all of who God’s character is. Men and women are made distinctly different, each with qualities of their maker. When two people of the same sex come together, this does not happen. I think this is why it becomes a religious issue when it is gay marriage verses atheistic or other non religious marriage. Just some explanation why I believe this becomes a bigger issue. However, there are many other things that don’t go with God’s design that don’t get this much attention but for some reason, this has become an overly passionate issue. I don't mean any disrespect with this post but hope to give insight from the other side. Unfortunately, I think there is a lot more explanation that is needed to fully understand my side. And unfortunately, many Christians blindly fight issues without understanding or love for the people involved. I wish I could apologize for each one of those arguments and make up for the sin of hate that comes from others in the church.

    1. I know I'm late to this discussion but I need to jump in here. Though I have many problems with Christian arguments against same-gender marriage, my biggest one is this: you are ignoring every other religion in the world. People always bring up this argument that Christians invented marriage and therefore get to define it, but the fact is, before Christianity spread all over the world, people of many other religions were already getting married. Why is it the Christian definition that we should adhere to? It's just another case of Christians thinking their point of view is somehow more important than the rest of the world's.

      That being said, it's silly to use the Bible to define marriage as between one man and one woman, because the Bible also has plenty of examples of marriage being between one man and a whole bunch of women, one man and a woman he raped, one man and his slave, etc.

  2. Pat, I admire you for bringing up such a controversial topic. I agree with you that anyone should have the right to marry. It's purely a civil rights issue. The act of marriage in a religious setting I believe is up to debate based on that church's beliefs, but the fact it is, you don't need to be married by a church to have a marriage recognized by a state. Pure and simple.

  3. The problem with christian prohibitions against gay marriage is that they are ambigiuous and open to interpretation. Yes, the bible talks about one man and one woman being needed for reproduction, but it also talks about one man marrying multiple women being perfectly normal. It is less ambiguous about stoning alduteresses and wearing poly/cotton blends being an abomination, but modern theologians tend to dismiss those elements as no longer applying. When pressed as to how one is supposed to know what is still prohibited and what is obsolete, they tend to fall back on some variation of "well, you just know." And there is no way for a non-religious person to see that as anything other than making it up as you go along.

    Fortunately, it doesn't matter what christianity or any other religion has to say about the matter, because this is a secular nation. What matters is what the laws say, not what some preacher thinks his holy book says. And one by one, the laws are changing, because an increasing number of people are coming to realize that they are okay with gay marriage, and that denying some people basic human and economic rights that the rest of us take for granted is the real abomination.

  4. I'm not sure what Christians you are talking to but they need to actually read their bible. The bible is very clear what things are against God's design and upheld in the new covenant; the time after Jesus' death. You are referring to old Jewish law not the new covenant for Christians. However, you are right that this nation is not made up of only Christians. But as a Christian, my own choices come from obedience to my savior because I believe he knows what's best for us and designed us for what will help us thrive the most. We can only make choices off our own beliefs and so I give my view.

  5. Wow, I should post on some more controversial topics more often. I love that we're getting some healthy discussion.

    Donna, I appreciate that you start out directly by saying that you don't have any hate for the gay community. That's one of the biggest problems I see in today's world. Too often people hide behind their religion as justification for hate. It's sad and completely hypocritical, but it happens all too often.

    There are so many sides to this issue, and I believe Donna has a very good point as to why people view it so differently between atheists and gays being able to get married. This is why I decided to try to stick with focusing on just the legal issues. From a purely secular standpoint, it's a civil rights issue and I believe that the laws must and will change. I also believe, like Laura, that a marriage ceremony in a church or any other religious setting is up to that religion to dictate the terms. That is their religious freedom, but as far as the state and federal government are concerned, it should remain a purely secular issue.

    Thanks so much for all the intelligent responses. I was really kind of worried about this post blowing up on me.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your post, mostly because I share your view. In a secular country, like The US or Germany, legalizing gay marriage shouldn't be an issue. What the churches do with it, is their business but when it comes to taxes, child adoption and social benefits...every committed couple should be able to gain the same benefits.
    BTW, you should blog more often ;)