Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Prop 8 Debate

Here in California, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Prop 8 decision against same-sex marriages. I was truly saddened by this although I'm thrilled that the thousands of couples who were married during the "legal" time period are still holding valid marriage licenses. Surely, this is a sign that the debate over this issue is far from over.

My dear friend, Sugar Jones, over at Sugar in the Raw, mentioned Prop 8 in her wonderful post on Freedom and Independence today, which got me thinking...

Prop 8 is an issue regarding same-sex marriage, which in my opinion, has nothing to do with religion. Sugar did point out and it's not hard to see that many Christian groups are strongly against same-sex marriage and have helped to make this a religious debate after all, claiming that marriage was originally deemed as a religious ceremony between a man and woman and should not be redefined.

In my opinion, the Prop 8 issue is a legal debate, one of equal rights. Eliminating the same rights for same-sex couples goes against many of the same beliefs that Christians hold, like the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If we examine the request of those who want to have the same rights that opposite sex couples have had since the beginning of time, isn't it easy to see that the heterosexual lifestyle will not be affected by allowing same-sex couples to marry? I can't see how anything would change if same-sex marriage is allowed, except, perhaps, for the change in our economy.

Before I continue, I do have to say that I grew up in a Catholic household. Both of my parents grew up Catholic and raised my sister and I with the same beliefs. We attended Catholic schools from kindergarten - high school. That's right, I have never attended a public school unless you count college, and my ex-husband and I send our son to an independent school also, but that's beside the point.

When our son was born, we didn't even think twice about having him baptized. It was simply something that everyone (in our family) did and we celebrated the event with friends and family. I brought my son to church a few times, but the very last time I stepped inside a Catholic church (with the exception of a few weddings and baptisms), was when I sat through a sermon where the priest spoke of homosexuals in such an offensive and degrading way that I felt sick to my stomach and vowed to never again step foot inside that church, or any other church who considered homosexuals second class citizens, sinners, or compared them to pedophiles.

I know many couples, men and women who are in a same-sex relationship. Many of them have kids (biological or adopted) and I have a great deal of respect for each and every one of them.

Not that long ago, bi-racial marriages were illegal and schools were segregated so that children of different colors would not be in the same classrooms together. Does no one see the correlation here between segregating marriage in a similar fashion?

Our culture and our world is evolving, every day. To say that our definition of marriage cannot evolve along with society is not only ignorant, but dangerous. Children today are learning so much from adults and practicing what we preach to them. Do we want our kids to grow up in fear or hateful towards people who are different than us or do we want to teach peace, respect and equality?

I want my son to grow up to believe what he chooses to believe, not what I tell him to believe, and I truly hope that he will grow up in a world that has evolved, not only in thought but in practice.

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