California votes next week on Proposition 8, a motion that would outlaw gay marriage (that’s the short version, I know it’s more complicated than that).
I’ve said this in the past, but I will repeat myself, so bare with me.
I’ve got no issue that religious teaching dictates that marriage is between a man and a woman. Religions are entitled to hold those views, as are those who follow them.
Where I have an issue is with religious doctrine being dictated to the state, no matter where you live in the world (the issue is just as topical in Australia).
If marriage is a sacred religious institution, then surely we should outlaw civil marriages as well. Why aren’t the very same people calling for a ban on gay marriage calling for a ban on the state marrying anyone, after all, if marriage is the exclusive domain of religion, and defined exclusively by religious teaching, then the state has no role in marrying people.
Sound extreme? Well so is dictating to the state who they can and cannot marry in a non-religious ceremony. No laws that I’m aware of are forcing churches to marry GLBT people (least most places). The laws of the state should always be based in non-discrimination, even if religion isn’t.
Although I’ve become more libertarian as I’ve gotten older, it was this argument that originally saw me shift in support of gay marriage several years ago, back in a time where my natural inclination may have been in favor of a ban.
Think about it.