There comes a time, several in fact, in a person’s life when they must take a stand for what is right. One of those times is now. The MN legislature, knowing they could never get an anti-marriage equality law passed through proper channels, are circumventing the legislative system to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality.
Now even if this passes GLBT marriages still won’t be legal in MN, they just won’t be constitutionally prohibited. Why is this distinction important? Because a constitution is supposed to afford citizens protection FROM the government intrusion into their lives. It’s supposed to limit and define governmental powers. Furthermore, the role of government in civil rights issues is to protect the rights of minority citizens from oppression by the majority. It’s supposed to defend women from being able to vote from powerful men who at one time tried to prevent them from doing so. It’s supposed to prevent black people from being made second class citizens by Jim Crow laws made by white folks. It’s supposed to protect Muslims who want to worship in communities that are predominately Christian. It’s supposed to protect gay people’s right to a civil marriage to the one they love amongst a majority of straight people who want to prevent that.
In addition…were marriage equality to be realized, houses of worship that oppose it would still be allowed to discriminate as they see fit. So what’s really at stake here? Freedom of religion and equality of civil liberty.
Equality of civil liberty means that everyone gets the same protections from government as everyone else and is afforded the same rights. The government has defined rights and privileges that belong only to couples who are married and then go on to define the ability to marry as belonging to only one subset of the country’s citizens. That’s not equality under the law. That’s Un-American if ever there were such a thing.
Freedom of religion. This right, arguably one of the most important afforded to American citizens, states that a person has a right to practice whatever belief system they desire free from interference by the government. Marriage is considered a sacrament, or sacred ceremony, by most religions. By not allowing certain people to get married the government IS interfering in the practice of some religions. Ours, the UU church, wants to marry GLBT people, but isn’t allowed to. The right to freedom of religion means that you, as an individual, may practice whatever belief system you choose. It does not mean that you get to dictate what belief systems others practice.
It’s very simple. Marriage equality is right. Discrimination is wrong. If you disagree, let’s talk about it. Compose your argument in an email and send it to me here and I promise I’ll respond.
I’m taking a stand. Stand with me.