Waldlaw Blog

Saturday, November 08, 2008

When Religious Marriage is the Only Option

I was talking to my brother this morning, and realized one of the true ironies of the passage of Prop 8 in California: having amended our state Constitution to deny gay folks access to civil marriage, we will once again see only religious marriages being performed in the lesbian and gay community. For years, many religious institutions -- including churches, temples and parishes of a variety of faiths -- have gladly performed same-sex weddings. Without a doubt, more churches are opening their doors to openly gay congregants every day. The passage of Prop 8 will not prevent any of these religious institutions from performing gay marriages, any more than defeat of Prop 8 would have forced religious institutions to bless gay unions to which they are opposed. One of the primary arguments made by those in favor of Prop 8 was that the court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage was a slap in the face to the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Civil marriage -- sanctified only by a civil clerk and performed outside a religious institution -- need not have had profound religious implications. But now, gay couples desiring to wed will have no choice but to marry in religious institutions, since civil institutions have been precluded from sanctifying same-sex unions. Want to see a gay marriage? You can't see them at City Hall anymore, but check out your nearest Church!


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