Friday, March 21, 2014

A change is gonna come...

Recent court decisions overturning state bans on same-sex marriage are hastening the day when same-sex marriage will be legal across the country. I was reading a response to an article the other day in which the post said that the court should respect the votes of the majority of citizens in that state to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. I shuttered at the thought of the awful things people could do if everything was left to the will of the legislative and electoral process. Some rights are not given in laws, but inalienable. While I wouldn't necessarily go so far as to say that the right to marry is inalienable, the right to equality is. Therefore, if a state wants to outlaw all legal unions - which would be absurd, but I'm making a point here - then that would be fine with me. But if the state allows two people to legally marry, then they have to allow another two people to legally marry (I won't get into polygymy and such, because the history there makes that issue much more complicated). There is absolutely no argument - legal or other - that anyone can make (except for religious, but that doesn't matter in our system of government) that would rationally determine that opposite sex people should be able to marry, but same-sex people should not. Further, marriage is a convenant and legal union between two people (and the state), and has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. Therefore, the electoral process should have no determination on how two people decide they want to declare their partnership; whether that be choosing to remain unmarried, a civil union, or a religious ceremony.
The people who continue to disagree with same-sex marriage may have their reasons; and I don't want to say that all, or even most, of them are bad people - they're just wrong. They are not only fighting an uphill battle at this point, they're fighting a losing battle. And much like those who supported miscegenation laws before interracial marriage became legal, they will be proven to be on the wrong side of history. The day is coming, and it's coming quickly. But the odd thing is, there's nothing to fear. Legalizing same-sex marriage nationally will have absolutely no effect on opposite sex couples, but will have a major impact on same-sex couples and will finally give them the recognition that they deserve, rather than (ironically) making their unions and families unlawful.