Same-Sex Marriage.

The US Supreme Court is currently considering cases regarding a touchy, emotive subject. Namely the question of the veracity of same-sex marriage.  Unfortunately, I don’t do well when I’m troubled by thoughts of injustice, and this subject is rampant with such thoughts.

Until relatively recently, my view was that the word “marriage” should be reserved for the specific union between a man and a woman.  {For those interested in my change of heart, my post, “Marriage,  a word’s meaning” provides a little background.}

Why did I change my mind?  Because of prompting from my youngest daughter {thirteen at the time}, who expressed shock I could be opposed to same-sex couples.  I corrected her by stating I had never held that bigoted viewpoint, then went on to explain that we were talking about the meaning of a root word, namely marriage.

Though I wish I could remember Julia’s exact words, I cannot, so here’s the gist of how she prompted my change of heart, “That doesn’t make sense, dad.  Words change their meaning all the time.  Just because people in the past were ignorant and had the wrong ideas doesn’t mean we’re stuck with what they thought something meant.  I think marriage is for couples who love each other and intend to be with each other forever.  What do you think?

How is it that the young see the truth of things so clearly?  Perhaps it is because they haven’t yet been trained to the biases of whatever society they dwell in?

What could I do but agree?  Julia’s definition of “marriage” cuts to the heart of the matter.  Marriage is not about sex, or about gender.  Marriage, is about commitment.  No one, neither individual or government, has the right to deny any committed couple their chance at the permanent bond of marriage.

So, since I’ve come to terms with my change of heart, why am I troubled by thoughts of injustice?  Simple.  Because I fear the US Supreme Court is about to allow a massive, long running injustice go unaddressed… or at best inadequately addressed.

Sadly, the USA seems to be a country where the courts are less concerned with justice than they are in following the letter of flawed laws.  In reflecting on the technicalities of the matter of same-sex marriage, Justice Sonia Sotomayor seems to be following that precedent.  She asked this question, “If the issue is letting the states experiment and letting the society have more time to figure out its direction, why is taking a case now the answer?

Allow me, a gravely troubled citizen, to answer that question.  Because everyone deserves equal access to justice now, not at some unspecified time in the future.

Many of the original European immigrants came to America to escape religious persecution.  Limiting marriage benefits and responsibility exclusively to heterosexual couples has no basis other than religious or politically motivated dogma.  How has this country been so sorely turned about that where it once held separation of Church and State as sacrosanct, it now seeks to entrench religious persecution into law?

I don’t do well when I’m troubled by thoughts of injustice…  Withholding access to marriage equality from any committed couple, regardless of gender, is injustice.  As a strictly heterosexual male already past my silver wedding anniversary, and looking forward to my gold, I can only imagine how same sex couples denied access to equal rights feel.

That very imagining troubles me.

Same-sex couples are victims of persecution, oppression, and injustice.

That needs to end, and it needs to end now, not at some other undetermined time in the future.

The following is a quote from my work, Malmaxa. “Were those denied justice ever satisfied with their lot?”  Since the answer to that question is a resounding, “No!” we should not be surprised when same-sex couples aren’t satisfied with their lot.  Indeed, no moral person should be content to remain silent in any society that denies equal justice to all its citizens, regardless of gender, color, caste, creed, sexual orientation, origin, or religion.

The time for silent social conscience on this issue is long since passed. Now is the time for social activism.

{04/14/13 – further steps on this journey can be found here.}

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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5 Responses to Same-Sex Marriage.

  1. Kelly says:

    “I think marriage is for couples who love each other and intend to be with each other forever – what do you think?”

    I couldn’t agree with you or your daughter more.

    • C.G.Ayling says:

      Thank you, I agree wholeheartedly with Julia. She often startles us with her insight into the heart of issues where her ability to see through all the distractions, on which most people focus instead of the root matter, is amazing.
      It is for that reason that she holds the place of honor in my philosophy couched as fantasy series, Malmaxa. Her role in the tale, is that of prophet – much like she is in our lives.

  2. Your daughter is very wise. This topic has troubled me deeply, as I believe nobody has the right to tell somebody else what to do – how to think, or more to the point, how to conduct their lives.

    Marriage, as far as I’m concerned, means love. Nothing more. Just the union of two people who care deeply for one another.

    Good post. And may we all be more tolerant towards others. We are not all sheep after all …

    • C.G.Ayling says:

      Thank you, Wendy.
      At lunch today my wife and Julia were both asserting Julia had changed my mind about this topic. I argued, that I had not. {On the meaning of the word, yes – but not on the belief you so eloquently expressed.}
      Julia is insightful and so terribly precious I simply don’t want to envision my life without her – without doubt, she is my favorite youngest child.
      Sheep… sadly, when it comes to emotive issues such as this, I think many otherwise intellectual people gladly don the blinkers of indoctrination and dogma. They’re unable to overcome themselves, and realize that other people loving each other doesn’t affect them in any material or moral way. Very distressing.

  3. Pingback: Nothing ever changes. | Malmaxa. Another View, of True ©.

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