I’m for gay marriage. I’m not gay, so I’m not personally affected (hey, might as well be honest that we’re mostly motivated by things that personally affect us), but I support it on philosophical grounds and on evidence that it strengthens communities. That said, I can understand some of the arguments against it. Except for the religious ones, which are just stupid.
I don’t mean stupid as in the Bible’s stupid, or something like that. I mean that the people making religious arguments are apparently unable or unwilling to understand the issue beyond the most superficial level.
The main religious argument (to combine them all into one) is that marriage, as defined in traditional religious contexts (such as the Bible), is between a man and a woman. Ok, great. I have no problem with this statement, and in fact, I agree. This is very clearly laid out in the Bible, for example, and as a Christian, I accept it.
So what’s my problem? It’s an issue of semantics. In my mind, **there is a clear difference between what the state calls marriage and what the church calls marriage**. When the state decides to do something with the legal definition of marriage, they aren’t changing religious beliefs any more than they could tell a church to whom to serve communion.
The easiest way to solve this “problem” is to **abolish state-sanctioned marriage altogether**. Replace it with a civil union or something. Yes, I know many current civil unions don’t actually have the same rights as marriage. Change them. “Replace” doesn’t mean remove marriage and have only an institution with fewer rights. Replace means Replace. **Just call it something else!**
If a gay couple really wants to get married, they can find a church to marry them. If a religious person feels offended, grossed out or convinced that wedded gay people will destroy life as we know it (if that is really our biggest fear, great), they can rest reassured that their church won’t take part. And for that matter, that the state won’t either.