Sign of the Times

We are fascinated by the idea suggested by the person this writer is responding to, that churches should keep their views on marriage “inside their church.” That’s not at all a bad idea. It’s a little late for that, though, given that certain churches have insisted that their views ought to be inserted into our Constitution. Stay tuned.

By John Shea, Reston

I was waiting to write until it was closer to the November election when Virginians will have a chance to choose whether the role of government is to protect individual rights or deny them. But Charles Brown’s letter to the editor (“Church Should Keep Views Inside,” The Reston Observer March 17) compelled me to speak out now.

He is offended by a sign in front of a church stating “marriage is a civil right” and argues that marriage is a “biological issue.” Does anyone marry for the sole purpose of making babies? I hope not. Marriage is primarily about the union of two souls, not body parts.

I give Mr. Brown credit for supporting civil unions. But why does he complain about this sign and say nothing about so many other signs advocating a philosophical point of view? Why does he take it so personally and feel the sign is trying to blame him for something? Why does it bother him so much he wants a constitutional amendment? Doesn’t he realize that the proposed amendment to the Virginia constitution will not only define marriage as between a man and woman, but will also ban civil unions? I don’t understand how someone who supports civil unions can care so much about the legal definition of marriage. To make a legal distinction between the two actually perpetuates having separate classes of couples in this country, the self-proclaimed leader of the free world.

Same sex marriage and civil unions are already prohibited by the Code of Virginia (in violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; Article One, Section One of the Virginia Constitution; and Title 57-1 Act for religious freedom that states, “… our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions …”), so why waste more tax dollars on a referendum? Unless of course the legislators are willing to rewrite the referendum so they are forced to revoke the ban if the proposed amendment is voted down.

This is the civil rights issue of the moment. Not that struggles don’t continue in other areas, but gays are subjected to the most open and institutionalized discrimination. Those who are against gay couples are as regressive in their thinking as those in their time who opposed ending slavery, voting rights for women, ending segregation and inter-racial couples.

Those who believe the pursuit of gay rights is an attack on American society grossly exaggerate the effect. How will granting gays the full rights and privileges of couple-hood negatively impact their lives? What are they afraid of? There has always been, and will always be, a gay minority that has helped society more than hurt it. No amount of religious condemnation and legislation will change that. Should respect for a minority’s rights to be based on their numbers? No, they should be encouraged to make this supreme commitment to another being.

Religious fundamentalists who tout a few conversion success stories as evidence that homosexuality is a bad choice that can be corrected fail to realize how easily many people can be brainwashed into believing just about anything, such as there is only one right set of beliefs about the universe. Instead of trying to save the world from this non-threat, they should focus their time and energy on resolving their own insecurities.

The only concern I used to have with gay couples was child raising. But I let that go once I realized it’s arrogant for anyone to think they know best when it comes to what another soul needs to experience. Obviously heterosexuals don’t automatically make better parents. Just look at all the dysfunctional traditional families.

Please think deeply, question your opinions, and face your fears on this issue before November. Equal rights and protection under the law must be uniform before this country can rightfully claim it has realized its dream of liberty and justice for all.

This entry was posted in Advocacy, Commentary and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.