Live Free or Die

On Wednesday, the great state of New Hampshire joined Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, and Iowa as it became the 6th state to legalize gay marriage. Even though its Democratic governor personally opposes gay marriage, he signed the bill into law once it was amended to include language that explicitly states that churches need not marry same-sex couples if doing so violated their religious principles. Of course, this kind of language is unnecessary, since state and federal constitutions prevent the government from forcing churches to perform any kind of rite. But whatever. He signed it. That's all that matters.

I come from a deeply religious, Roman Catholic family. They say novenas. They go to confession regularly (to confess what, I have no idea, since they are some of the most pious, selfless, and humble people I know). Some attend mass every single day.

Needless to say, they are completely against gay marriage on religious grounds. And while I completely disagree with them, I do understand it. They live their lives 100% in accordance with their faith. If the Bible doesn't say it's so, isn't so.

But it would seem that if the Catholic Church wasn't being made to marry gay couples, then their issue really isn't about religious freedom after all. It then becomes as issue of approval. They don't approve of the "gay lifestyle." They think it immoral and contrary to God's teachings (as if the heterosexual world were somehow immune to immorality). But while heterosexuals, who have done more to damage the institution of marriage than Cheryl and Cathy getting married ever would, enjoy 1,138 rights granted by marriage, gay couples are relegated to second-class status. A gay man cannot make decisions on his partner's behalf in a medical emergency. A gay woman cannot take advantage of the FMLA to care for her sick partner. And this? Is unconscionable. For me, gay marriage is about equal rights under the law. Plain and simple.

What I do not understand (and what I've told my family members repeatedly) is why they and others who are against marriage equality for whatever reason oppose civil marriages (those performed by the state). More people married = increased stability, happiness (most of the time, anyway), and taxes. It's a win-win for the couple and the state, isn't it? Hell, gay marriage can even help end the recession.

I am perpetually befuddled as to why people care so much about the topic of gay marriage. How does it affect you or me in the least if Tim and Craig who live next door get hitched? It doesn't.

Yes, I'm a bleeding-heart liberal to my core. But even if I weren't, I fail to see why this is such a big deal for those in opposition to it. No one is asking your church to marry gay couples. You're not being asked to bless their unions or buy them wedding gifts or even to lend a gardening spade to that horrible gay neighbor across the street if you don't want to.

If New Hampshire's governor was able to look beyond his personal views on gay marriage and see it for what it is: a matter of equal rights under the law, then I cannot for the life of me understand why those who oppose it on religious grounds cannot do the same. Live and let live.

This is the photo that hangs on the outside of the Unitarian Church whose building houses the preschool Isabella will attend in September. While the preschool is unaffiliated with the church, I think I shall take her photo under it on the first day of school and mail it to all my relatives.

Having angry thoughts about where they went wrong in raising me me will give them something to talk about in confession.

11 Responses to “Live Free or Die”

  1. # Anonymous Ness @ Drovers Run

    I agree with you totally. I think the same thing - it's just not fair is it?

    Since the inception of our new constitution here in RSA, it is one of the most liberal constitutions in the world - although of course how often they stick to its principles is HIGHLY debateable - I *can* tell you that our new president is an man accused (and acquitted of rape) a man who knowingly slept with an HIV positive woman saying that he could simply take a shower and he 'would be fine', and is a practicing polygamist with three wives. (No. I did *NOT* vote for him).

    While I don't judge his personal life, and the fact that he has three wives, I DO take exception to the fact that our tax payers money obviously goes towards paying for three swish inauguration outfits instead of just the usual one. Can't he just pick one to attend an event? Like on a rotation?


  2. # Blogger In Due Time

    Great post! I completely agree. It makes me sad.

    Whoopi on The View said it best, "if you don't agree with same sex marriage, DON'T MARRY SOMEONE GAY!!!"  

  3. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I totally agree (well-played using the NH slogan as a title, too even though it is more libertarian than democrat:) But unlike you I do not understand opposing anything on religious grounds. Maybe it is b/c overall I am not a believer, but I think that 95 percent of the ills of the world can be directly traced back to religion somehow. Just b/c a person believes in some book and some supreme being does not give them the right to make decisions for others who do not believe. Period. Whether the bible says it or not. We have a separation between church and state.

    I know you agree. But I had to say it anyway because opposing it on "religious reasons" actually makes less sense to me.

    That said, everyone on the wrong side of this issue is about to hear some "Get out the way." They are on the wrong side of history and best step aside. We are winning this fight.  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    I am not a 'bleeding heart liberal'. I would guess some of my views are fairly conservative, yet my husband and I go round and round and round about this. It's the one thing I just can't talk about with him anymore because (sh, don't tell), I think he sounds like an incredibly intolerant idiot. Actually, he's probably well aware of that. If the idea of gay marriage is so threatening to you (and I completely agree it's the heterosexuals that have screwed that up), than why not civil unions? Why not protect people's rights to buy property together, to make medical decisions for each other, to live out their lives with each other? Drives me crazy. You are completely right, it comes down to judging. I can understand being against a promiscuous lifestyle--gay or straight, but then those aren't the people seeking marriage, are they? It's crazy.  

  5. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Well said, Kristi!

    I really can't add anything that the commenters before me haven't said already, so I'll just say that I completely agree with you.

    Oh, and the part about taking Isabella's photo under the sign totally had me cracking up!  

  6. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    While we have a lot in common when it comes to our children, we are so, so different when it comes to most other things. I am certainly not a "bleeding heart liberal". I do consider myself to be open minded...I always am open to hearing all sides, but I just usually relate to a more conservative view. With that said, I'm not a Republican...I relate much more with the Constitutionalists when it comes to politics. In the case of gay marriage...I don't even really know what I think about it when it comes to my religious views. However, I do know this...I am always for less government, so it sickens me that the government even has to get involved. Why was it ever up to the government to decide who can get married and who can't? I don't like that...I am obviously straight...but if I wasn't it would piss me off to have the government telling me I was never allowed to marry anyone but a man. That seems crazy. I could go on and on...  

  7. # Blogger Andrew

    As I've said before, you're a born hag. xo  

  8. # Blogger kenju

    Then I'm a hag, too. I love the sign and your idea to take Isabella's pic under it!  

  9. # Blogger Veronica

    I told the boyfriend that we're not getting married until my friends can legally get married in this country.


  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    THANK YOU for this. Bravo.  

  11. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I completely agree with you. It's not a religious issue and I don't even feel it should be a political issue. I'm so glad that more states are coming around to this. If people want to get married, then they should be able to.  

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