Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Real Issue

A member of the congregation I serve in Brewster, MA suggested that we create buttons that read:

"What God has joined together let no one break asunder . . . save gay marriage!"

We may be getting into the button business in the near future (keep watch on this space for more information!), but it's assured that we're going to be getting BACK into the fight for marriage equality. With the recent vote of the State Legislature folks are coming forward more committed than ever.

I want to make two points that just keep coming up for me in all of the debate around this issue:

First, some people say that "marriage" must be reserved for heterosexuals because "the purpose of marriage is procreation." If that's really true, then people who bear children out of wedlock, and folks like my wife and me who are married but unable to conceive children, are likewise a threat to the institution of marriage. Until the opponents of marriage equality begin a campaign to somehow deal with these two groups I will always suspect that this isn't their real concern.

Second, when opponents of marriage equality talk about the "sanctity of marriage" being under attack by gays and lesbians who want their unions to be recognized and don't also demonize adulterers and batterers and, for that matter, the producers of "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" I also find their arguments less than convincing. Which is more destructive of a sense of the sacredness of the institution--no-fault divorce or a couple of women who've been committed to one another for over thirty years wanting to get married? I get the idea that the "sanctity of marriage" isn't really what's worrying them, either.

The last point I want to make is not mine, but Welton Gaddy's. Rev. Gaddy is President of the Interfaith Alliance, a Baptist minister, and host of State of Belief a weekly radio show that airs on AirAmerica Radio. At the time the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was being debated he wrote:
“For those people who want to protect marriage, let me offer a few suggestions: Raise the public’s consciousness of the dignity and importance of women in our still deeply patriarchal society; increase the minimum wage and offer tax breaks to the working poor so that spouses can see each other for quality lengths of time, rather than briefly passing on their way to two jobs; encourage family planning; start a plan to deal with domestic violence; and work to cover mental health care in medical insurance policies so serious emotional difficulties can be prevented from tearing marriages apart.”

But somehow I get the feeling that "defending marriage" isn't really the issue that they're talking about either.

Hmmmmm. I wonder what is.

In Gassho,

Rev. Wik Print this post

No comments: