Marriage - No Qualifiers, Just Marriage

This subject is one that has tickled the back of my mind for a while now. It's a hot topic, and thus has had hundreds if not thousands of blog posts and articles written about it. So, why another one? Because it's bugging me!

Today is a big day in a few states, with voting on amendments that make gay marriage unconstitutional (NC, for example).

So, what's frustrating (to me) about this topic?

The rabid defense and opposition that it receives. People either vociferously defend or attempt to deny the rights of gay people - it sparks controversy, it sparks debate, it warrants protests, marches, and actually going out to vote! Involvement is a good thing, right? Typically, yes. However, our country is in a recession. We have hundreds of thousands of homeless. Hundreds of thousands without jobs. (I'm totally pulling numbers out of my ass, here - the point is that there are a lot of each of these.) People who desperately need and cannot afford health care. Shouldn't the protection of and assistance of people actually IN DESPERATE NEED be a bigger priority than governing the relationships between two people?

The bigger question, for me, is why don't we get this worked up about helping others?

News flash: People are people. Regardless of race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, job status, or a love or hatred of the color yellow (and whatever else you want to throw in there to discriminate against) - people are people. As such, we should all have inalienable rights - rights that are not controlled by the government OR the church, but by us as individuals. Who better to define their relationship than the people actually involved in the relationship? How we handle our relationship, who we choose to have a relationship with, and what level we take it to should be among these rights that are automatically ours.

Marriage, civil unions, and relationships in general should be handled between the two parties involved in the relationship. If a couple would like to get married - regardless of the sex of the parties - they should be able to do so. It is a personal choice, and the freedom to make that choice should remain in each couple's hands.

Marriage, civil union, or whatever label you want to apply to the union of two lives should be above gender-based relationship labels. It should be just that - a union between two people. Not a union between a man and a woman. Not a union between a woman and a woman. Not a union between a man and a man. A union between two people. Two people who are entitled to private lives and respect for their relationship.

An individual union does nothing to infringe upon personal religious beliefs. It does nothing to detract from your community. It does nothing to harm a single soul on the planet. It does not make your union less valuable, less real, less important. It does not malign or harm the union of any two other individuals (unless, of course, it's an extra-marital affair/cheating/whatever, but that's not really the topic at hand here, is it?)

If something as simple as allowing two people of the same gender get married undermines your faith, it was not that strong to begin with. It is not your place to judge others and their personal relationships. It is your job to worry about your own, and live in such a way that your faith and strength is demonstrated in your daily lives, not when it's just convenient to do so. Promote love, not hate. Love is a universal thing, and it knows no boundaries based upon gender. The only labels that exist are the ones we make. The ones we use to confine and restrict the rights of our fellow humans. How is that right?

Are you getting the drift? What two people choose to do with their relationship has nothing to do with you, unless you are one of the two people involved in that relationship.

However, the poor, the homeless, the hungry - that does have an impact. Not only does it have an impact, but you can actually DO something about it, and by doing good for another person (or other people) you feel good. You've given back to humanity.

People are people. Period. No qualifiers. Once we focus on PEOPLE rather than their sexuality, the color of their skin, their religion, their favorite color - then we will be making progress.

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