Love. Equality. Period.

Going to talk about some of my beliefs here.

As evidenced by yesterday’s vote in North Carolina, not everyone shares my beliefs. But also, as evidenced by comments from almost all of my friends on Facebook and Twitter as well as our President, many people DO share them. 

I believe that any church in America has every legal right to refuse to wed a gay couple if they believe it’s wrong. 

No, this does NOT mean I believe gay marriage is wrong, immoral, or should be banned. I don’t. It simply means that I believe in the separation of church and state.

I believe that any two consenting adults should be allowed to get legally married if they want to. I don’t care if it’s a man & a woman, two men or two women. 

I believe that amending constitutions, either state constitutions or the US Constitution, to ban gay marriage is ethically, morally and legally wrong. 

In this day and age the word marriage has multiple meanings. There is legal marriage and there is religious marriage. If marriage was simply a function of the church, there would be no need for the legality of marriage licenses and marriage certificates from the government, and anyone who did not want a church wedding would not be allowed to get married. 

This is why the push for banning gay marriage both angers and perplexes me. It is the religious groups lobbying for it. Why? They allow other marriages to happen legally without being held in a church. They are not forced to recognize any marriage they don’t want to. Why should any marriage bother them if it has nothing to do with their church? 

My marriage has NOTHING to do with religion or the church.

I am married to my husband because I love him, and we signed LEGAL papers for that marriage. Everything that getting married changed was changed legally, not religiously. If religion was something that was required to get married I would be stuck in the same place as the gays, wanting to marry someone I love but being told it wasn’t allowed.

The rights, protections, and benefits I get from my non-religious marriage to my husband are the same ones the gays want to marry for. And yes, they want to marry for love. I was allowed to marry for love, why shouldn’t they?

Yes, once upon a time being married in the church and in the eyes of whatever god you believe in was the only way a marriage was recognized, but I don’t understand how anyone can claim that it is now only a religious joining and not a legal one. If it was solely religious then why does a non religious marriage change a person’s legal status? 

A church wedding is not required for a wedding to be viewed as legal. I feel any church that wants to can refuse to marry gays, just as they can already refuse to perform any marriage. Because the church part has no legal standing it is not illegal for a church to refuse to perform the ceremony. If Rick & I weren’t already married, and if we walked into the LDS church down the street and asked to be married there, they would say no. I’m ok with this.

I was told on Facebook today that marriage is only the church’s business, not the state’s. Well then, ALL legal marriages should be converted to civil unions or whatever you want to call them, keep all the same legalities, and be available to any two consenting adults who want one. Then all the people who need their church to call it marriage can have whatever church ceremony they want without it affecting their legal rights or status in any way. 

This November, here in Minnesota, we will be voting on a constitutional amendment: The Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment.  “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall ge valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”

Unfortunately even if this horrible amendment is defeated gay marriage is still going to be illegal in Minnesota because there is already a statute on the books that says “Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil contract between a man and a woman.” Defeating the amendment is still important though because it’s another step towards equality some day. 

If you agree with what I’ve said here, great! If not, that’s ok too. I’m not going to ban dissenting opinions, but I will delete assholes. Also, don’t try to convert me to your religious views. I have my beliefs and spirituality and you have yours. They don’t have to be the same and you’re not going to change mine. And of course, the rule that always stands, Wheaton’s Law: Don’t Be A Dick!