Saturday, September 25, 2004

Protecting the 'Sanctity' of Marriage

i wrote this letter to the editor to my school newspaper last spring...but i wanted to post it here too b/c bush pisses me off and so do the rest of his stupid religious right fanatics.

President George W. Bush is pushing for an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Much of the argument in favor of this amendment relates to the sanctity of marriage. What, then, does sanctity mean?According to the Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, it means “godliness” or “sacredness.” So, not only does this word have the capacity to hold a powerful recognition of a relationship, but it is followed by another word that adds a religious implication.

This piece of legislation that is trying to implement an amendment to the Constitution that will discriminate against one group of people solely because of sexuality … well, it is simply unconstitutional. The First Amendment specifically states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The groundwork of this country was for a secular nation that has a separation of church and state.There are millions of straight people getting married every day, and 50 percent of them getting divorced within one year. Can we honestly say there is such thing as “sanctity of marriage”? Why should straight people be the only ones to have their relationship legally, religiously and socially recognized as legitimate? The ban on gay marriage is wrapped up in the Christian religion.

In a “secular” nation, the right to marry should not be about religion. Even those who are married by a Justice of the Peace receive a marriage certificate, whether or not they want the religious term “marriage” involved in securing their legal rights, rights that gay couples are denied. For example, a gay person cannot see her/his sick partner in the hospital, adopt children, or in many cases, receive health benefits.Bush is hiding behind the word “sanctity.” Bush is trying to protect the institution of marriage as we know it, but what is he trying to protect it from? People who love each other and would simply like to have their relationship recognized the way that everyone else is able to?

Protecting the entitlement of legal rights that the institution of marriage grants, but only to straight people, is Bush’s real agenda. This is blatant discrimination. Amendments such as this do nothing to promote the “sanctity of marriage.” Rather, this amendment encourages religious hegemony, hatred, homophobia and discrimination, all of which are things that detract from the ideals our nation was built on.

No comments: