I believe that marriage is a public expression of a private relationship. Folks are allowed to think their own thoughts about the private element of any relationship. However, in the respects that marriage is a public issue, isn’t allowing same gender marriage simply a matter of civil rights? How can our society feel comfortable picking and choosing which people are allowed to participate within our legal frameworks?
The array of legal and economic benefits that marriage provides is astonishing. Telling people that the gender of their spouse should disqualify them from receiving those benefits is an obvious injustice. Yet, that’s what most of the states continue to do. It was more than forty years ago that miscegenation laws were finally lifted via Loving v. Virginia. Those laws denied marriage rights to people based on the race of their spouses. What’s the difference between race and gender here?
I hope that we move quickly enough toward marriage equality for homosexual couples that we don’t need another Loving case but until then I’d like to share a brief statement my wife and I included in our wedding program.
We appreciate and respect the values and benefits of marriage, thus it saddens us that not everyone is allowed this opportunity. Fifty years ago, our marriage would have been illegal in most states. Now, it seems clear that making different laws based on race is discriminatory and wrong. We think that making different laws based on sexual orientation is also discriminatory and wrong.
Please join us in supporting laws, initiatives and politicians who advocate marriage rights for everyone. Let love be the highest law.
2 thoughts on “Gay Marriage as a Civil Rights Issue”
I love you guys.
Thanks Lois. It feels important to us to advocate for issues of concern to us and the wedding was a perfect forum for addressing marriage equality.