Before I jump on my political soapbox, let me just say that in my mind weddings and politics shouldn’t mix. A celebration joining the lives of two people who love each other and the bureaucracy necessary to run our nation should exist separately, because I believe church and state should exist separately. Clearly in our country right now, this is not the case.
This week three states (California, Arizona, and Florida) banned same sex marriages. This seems remarkable in a country that came out in unprecedented numbers that same Tuesday to vote for a shift in the conservative momentum that has dominated our nation for the last eight years.
So often we take our rights for granted in this country, particularly the right to choose one person to bind yourself to for life, symbolically and legally. Because I happen to be heterosexual, I have all the privileges that marriage offers on my side, and its easy to forget how many people suffer due to this blatant discrimination.
If your argument against same sex marriage is based on religion I would urge you to reconsider some of the founding principles of this country. Contrary to popular belief, our nation was not founded on religious morals, but religious freedom. Religion should be deeply respected, but as a cultural and not a federal practice. Denying same sex couples the right to marry, or the right to have a civil union with all the same benefits is a violation of religious freedom.
The upwelling of national support and emotion this week for the election of a black man as President of the United States is very telling of the power of breaking down prejudices. That hatred divides and tolerance unifies is a basic lesson of the Civil Rights movement, a movement many of our parents witnessed firsthand. Every generation has an opportunity to more fully realize the promises made to every citizen of our country over two hundred years ago, and to take a stand for those who are not as fortunate as us. I believe this is our opportunity.