Updated: February 20, 2013 11:31AM
One of the hottest hot-button issues that’s being discussed in state legislatures, in the White House and in pulpits around the country is gay marriage.
Here are two sides of the issue.
E.B.: I, personally, have no issue with two people being joined legally to each other in order to enjoy the benefits of being a couple as long as they’re not in my face with it and don’t tell me I must accept them. What two people do is between them and their God. If it’s morally wrong, then one day they’ll answer to that God.
I do, however, have a problem with calling it marriage, and I’ll tell you why. In the Roman Catholic faith, marriage is one of the seven sacraments. While I recognize that some people outside the Catholic faith use the word marriage generically, like Jell-O, to some of us it sounds too much like we’re being told how to conduct our religion.
Marriage in the Roman Catholic faith is not guaranteed to everyone. The church can refuse to marry two people for a variety of reasons. For example, if someone was married and the church recognizes that marriage, and then they divorce, in the eyes of the church, that person may still be married and therefore not eligible to be married in a Catholic ceremony.
So being married has a different meaning to many of us, and we resent someone telling us we must recognize gay marriage or the right of divorced people to remarry. These decisions come to us from the Pope, not from a lawmaker in the United States or a group wanting to push their values and goals on us.
Consider it from a different angle: Would anyone tell Jewish people how to conduct their religion? Or Muslims? Or Mormons? So why should Catholics have to recognize the modification of one of their blessed sacraments?
I expect many other silent Catholics will agree with me.
DYLAN: I really don’t understand why some people object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Marriage, as it exists in this country, is a legal contract between two consenting adults. You can be married by a judge or a justice of the peace. Divorce is a way to break that contract.
Now, if a couple wants to bring a religious element into their marriage, that’s their business. They can ask a priest or rabbi or a minister to marry them. If he or she refuses because they’re of the same sex or they’re of different religions or one of them is still considered married, that’s a religious problem for the couple, not a legal one.
Orthodox Jews don’t eat anything that comes from a pig, but I’ve never heard one say that pork chops should be illegal for everyone. Catholics don’t recognize divorce, but I’ve never heard a Catholic say that every person who gets divorced and then remarries is a bigamist.
The separation of church and state is at the foundation of our country, and people should allow the state to marry consenting adults of the same gender and allow the church to refuse to recognize that marriage if that’s their belief.
How do you feel about same-sex marriage? Send your thoughts, along with your questions, problems and rants, to firstname.lastname@example.org.