Let’s get one thing straight…the sanctity of my marriage is just fine, thank you very much. How hard is this to understand: the only people who can dishonor the vows of a married couple are the two people involved. If you feel like your marriage is so weak that you have to discriminate against others to make you feel better about yourself, then you have more problems than a “Gay Marriage Amendment” can solve.
Of course, “preserving the sanctity of marriage” was in the news this week with a demonstration in downtown Raleigh.. As reported in the News&Observer, thousands of self-described Evangelical Christians congregated at the Legislative Building in spirited support of the NC Marriage Amendment. (This is a group one would think would be aware of the dangers of mob rule. For reference, see Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ). Amid shouts of “Let Us Vote!” the protesters are pushing for a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. I guess the existing North Carolina law (“Marriage is a union between a woman and a man”) is not discriminatory enough for the endangered marriages of the protesters.
The protesters seem to place much emphasis on their claims that a majority of North Carolinians favor the bill. That is unfortunate, because they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the American system of government:
“The American system of government is founded on two counterbalancing principles: that the majority of the people governs, through democratically elected representatives; and that the power even of a democratically elected majority must be limited, to ensure individual rights.
Majority power is limited by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which consists of the original ten amendments ratified in 1791, plus the three post-Civil War amendments (the 13th, 14th, and 15th) and the 19th (women’s suffrage), adopted in 1920.”
If valuing the Bill of Rights seems just and fair and important to you, go here to read the rest of the mission statement of the American Civil Liberties Union.
It is estimated that 5% of the population is gay. Do we really need to constitutionally scold 400,000 North Carolina citizens in a misguided attempt to protect us from our own insecurities? If we allow felons to marry while in prison, can’t we extend the same courtesy to our law-abiding, tax-paying brothers and sisters? Just as America now feels shame about our prejudiced views on inter-racial marriages, I believe we will regret our indecent stand on gay marriage.
Addendum: I hesitate to link to them to confer any legitimacy to this cause, but I wonder if this organization even realizes the hypocrisy of their divisive message at the same moment their website proclaims “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Go here, if you must.