6/29/11 Arutz Sheva- Marriage is a religious institution, and the US government, where religion and state are separate by law, ought to have no place in regulating it.
Let me tell you the problem I have with Gay Pride parades. It's not the "gay" part; it's the "pride" part. I can understand taking pride in one's culture, one's religion, or one's career field. I'm not even saying that one's sexual orientation should be cause for shame - simply that it doesn't warrant pride of any sort.
As a straight male, I take no pride in being attracted to the opposite sex. I'm also left-handed. Where's the Leftie Pride Parade? My point is that one's sexual orientation just is, and if you hold the politically-correct position that one's orientation is an innate human characteristic with which one is born (like left or right-handedness), there is no volitional element at all.
So what are we celebrating, then? Gay history? Gay culture? Am I the only one who thinks that "celebrations" of sexuality should be, at the very least, kept? If New York held a "Straight Pride Parade," wherein the behavior of participants was every bit as licentious as that of the Gay Pride March, it would be every bit as offensive. Aren't there folks in the LGBT community who are disturbed by this?
To paraphrase a stand-up comedian I once heard (and incidentally, this was at a club in the Village), "No, it's not a choice to be gay. But it is a choice to be flaming." By the time you're dancing, body painted, half-naked, down the streets of, a few choices have definitely been made. Choices made, we would argue, in very poor taste.
Personally, it strikes me as degrading for a group to base their whole identity on which type of anatomy they're attracted to. If people wish to debase themselves thus, that's their right - but please, don't make me witness it.
Of course, the real issue du jour is the same-sex marriage legislation that, just a few days ago, cleared both houses of the New York State Legislature. Those directly affected by the new law are literally dancing (fabulously, no doubt) in the streets. But what does it all mean for the rest of us?
Look, if certain religious groups wish to condone and perform same-sex marriages, that's their business. We as Jews or as conservatives may not agree with it, but this is America, where a person is free to express himself so long as his or her choice of expression does not infringe upon the rights of others.
But, if religious groups that only recognize the traditional (read: authentic) definition of marriage (i.e. that it exists between man and woman) are in any way compelled to perform or recognize homosexual marriage, that is a clear violation of the Constitution. The government has no right to make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the freethereof.
Where do I get that from? How about the part where it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (for those of you Americans who slept through your high Civics class, that's the First Amendment to the US Constitution).
Ergo, traditional Jews, Christians, and Muslims have every right to abstain from performing such ceremonies and absolutely should not be punished for doing so, be it through a denial of federal funding for which they would otherwise have been eligible, or be it through lawsuits by individuals attempting to force their views upon a religious community.
We can't help but suspect that in the very near future there will be a gay couple attempting to force the issue with their local church/mosque/synagogue/te
mple, and it wouldn't surprise us if such a case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Because for some, it isn't enough to have a recognized "civil union" with the same material benefits as marriage. Some feel, that as a matter of human rights their relationship merits the label of "marriage." Why wouldn't the same line of thinking convince someone that this "marriage" then needs to be sanctioned by their religion of choice, whether or not said religion expressly forbids it? Then you have government dictating to religion what its teachings are - and that's when you have a problem.
Note that none of this is a comment on homosexuality itself. Marriage is a religious institution, and the government ought to have no place in regulating it.
Our solution to the "gay marriage problem"? I propose a new constitutional amendment (really just a specific application of the first) that henceforth the government shall have no role in regulating any kind of marriage, gay, straight, or other. From here on out, couples would register their "civil union" with the local government, and to get married, you'd go to your local rabbi, priest, minister, imam, or what have you.
Then people of all sexual orientations could get their civil unions and be on equal footing with everyone else vis-à-vis the government. And if they want to get married, they simply have to belong to a faith that espouses their interpretation of marriage. Most importantly of all, it would be fair.
Why has nobody thought to do this? Under this new law, no one's civil rights (real or imagined) would be trampled, gay and straight people would be treated equally under the law, and the government would no longer be meddling in matters of religion, which according to the First Amendment are none of their business to begin with! Problem solved!
You're welcome, America.
You're welcome, America.