Monday, October 15, 2012
Election Debates #2: Gay Marriage
Sometimes it feels as if I’m not allowed to feel confused.
Gay marriage is back on the ballot in Maine again this year. I can't count how many times it's been voted in and out since I have lived here.
The media tells me I'm not allowed to be confused by this issue, that if I'm not 100% behind it, vehemently, then I am against it and bigoted.
Pro Question 1 groups won’t let me feel in my gut that the idea makes me uncomfortable, they won’t even let me feel confused by something that is so utterly removed from my sphere of experience. "The Church" won’t let me feel hurt on behalf of people who are denied civil rights afforded by the government to those in a long term relationship. I'm supposed to support the separation of church and state while allowing the government to give me benefits because I'm married.
Just when I feel that I have resolved myself on this issue, someone throws a curveball at me. Arrogance and anger on either side sends me running for the other. My problem is that the thought of it bothers me, whether you call it marriage or civil union or whatever, but I’m being asked to vote on it. I don’t like the idea of voting on something like this as it makes me form opinions about things that don’t concern me.
So I have come to these conclusions in response to the trash thrown around by the media on both sides of the debate:
I have let go of the words “traditional marriage” - it has only existed for a short amount of time, and quite frankly meant polygamy and concubines for much longer than it meant one man and one woman. Talk traditional marriage to me and I will walk away.
I don’t worry about my children being taught to be gay in school, just as I don’t worry about them being taught atheism. They have their family/friends for social lessons and influences. If this is truly a country in which church and state are separate, then let them be separate.
I don’t think that the right of Fred and Frank to marry will affect the relationship between my husband and I.
I’m still confused by the whole thing. I can vote no and feel weird and guilty , or I can vote yes and feel weird. I don’t believe in abstaining. My only consolation is that this right gets re-upped and overturned with every new election in Maine, but that’s not fair on anyone is it?
Sec. 4. 19-A MRSA §655, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
3. Religious exemption. This chapter does not require any member of the clergy to perform or any church, religious denomination or other religious institution to host any marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that member of the clergy, church, religious denomination or other religious institution. The refusal to perform or host a marriage under this subsection cannot be the basis for a lawsuit or liability and does not affect the tax-exempt status of the church, religious denomination or other religious institution.
The current measures being proposed protect my religion, and we don’t live in a theocracy. I may not like a lifestyle choice, I don't like medical marijuana either, but I also don’t know that I can restrict you with a governmental statue that should have no affect or effect of religion.
I’m still confused by the whole thing. I need your tolerance.