Government: Get Your Hands off Marriage!
I Advocate Personal Freedom
I was asked a while back about what my take was on Gay Marriage. I have not been doing a lot of writing on Hubpages for the past year or so, but since I had decided that it was time for me to start doing so again, I thought that this was one question, at least, that I am able to answer, and I believe that I can answer it very thoroughly.
My Personal Feelings about Gay Marriage Are Irrelevant
Although I will address what my personal feelings are about gay marriage, this issue should not be in any way personal. I believe that the asker was probably hoping to learn more about my religious or sociological stance on gay marriage, and while I will address that, I see this as a much more political question than I see it as a personal question.
Marriage, whether it is straight or gay marriage, is not a matter for the state to handle or address. As with most things, the waters only become truly muddy when the government begins to put its hands into the pot and stir it around. Whether or not I support the right of gays to marry is irrelevant because I do not see marriage as a right at all.
What does that mean, though? It means that I believe that the government should take its hands off of the private sector and stop legislating belief. Over and over again I have seen where various laws have attempted to tell me what I can and can not believe. There are laws that say that I must vaccinate my child in order to send her to school (private or public), and laws being proposed that say that children cannot be circumcised in certain states (better the local or state government than the federal government, granted).
When the government attempts to legislate belief, it far oversteps its bounds and its right as a governing body.
Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Issue: It is a Religious Issue
There are those who disagree and say that marriage is a matter for society and not for religion. Whether they are right or I am right doesn't matter; the issue is the same. This is not a civil matter, and not one which should be legislated at all.
What if straight people stopped having the right to get married. What would happen then? It would simply mean that marriages would no longer be legally recognized, and we all start off in the same playing field, straight, gay, polygamists and all.
Gays Should NOT Have the Right to get Married
And neither should straight couples have the "right" to get married.
Depending on the person that I ask, my gay friends have various reasons for why they would like to be married. Most of them say that it is a matter of equality; they want to be equally recognized, as a people, along with straight couples. It's a nice thought, and it does make sense. But just as often the reason is stated as being related to the rights of married couples. It changes the way that we are taxed (married couples are penalized), and it affects the way that we receive benefits from our partner's insurance and in the case of death. In fact, the reason why marriage is a legal institution at all relates to these factors.
One of the reasons that many people object to gay marriage is the fact that more and more insurance companies are recognizing civil unions. And, if civil unions are legally recognized, do gays need the right to get "married" instead? Usually the answer to this question reverts to the previous answer of "equality."
But Why NOT Allow Gay Marriage?
There is no valid reason that I can determine for not allowing gay marriage other than the religious objections that only make it more clear that the government needs to take its hands off of our personal freedoms.
Gay marriage is a perfect example of how more government involvement, regulation and all over legislation results in the demise of our personal freedoms. You cannot be both an advocate of big government and an advocate of personal freedom. You must make a choice between the two.
Interestingly, if the government passes legislation to allow gay marriage, it will be a step backward, because it is another way in which we must toe the line for the bureaucrats in Washington.
My Personal Feelings on Gay Marriage
I consider myself an "Old Testament Christian." When I say this, what I mean is that I follow the Tanakh closely, do my best to observe the Torah and to align myself with my understanding of the word of Yahweh, the Bible.
We are given a plan for marriage in Genesis, chapter 2, verse 24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." The language is clear and precise; marriage is one man and one woman. The verse does not say to his 'wives' or to his 'husband.'
I follow the Torah as best I can. I'm failing right now, I will admit. In fact, I'm even eating pork on Mother's Day this year. And interestingly, in that same vein, I treat all "abominations" the same. It is true that the scriptures refer to homosexuality as an abomination in Leviticus 18:22. And a common argument is that throughout Leviticus, the scriptures call various different foods that are commonly eaten by Christians an abomination.
Ordinarily I wouldn't eat shellfish either. Or wear that which pertains to a man. Or clothing with mixed fibers. And yes, I'm a Christian, not Jewish. If there is a singular group of people who have license to say that they disagree with homosexuality, it is those of us who are Torah Observant.
But I still believe that you have to make the personal choice in your own life whether or not this is a lifestyle you can live with. Not everyone is a Bible-believing Christian or even a Torah Observant Jew. And regardless of your religious beliefs (even if you are Christian or Jewish), you still have to decide how that fits into your own personal view of salvation and the scriptures.
If marriage remains a legal institution, I will not vote to allow gay marriage, and I will continue to vote in support of straight marriage. Why? Because I believe that marriage is, by definition, a union between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman. I will support the rights of my friends to share insurance or to be bound together by civil unions, but "marriage" is a term which, to me, means one man, one woman, for life.
I do not intend to be contradictory or to start a flame war. I only set out to answer a question that was asked of me, presumably regarding my religious rather than my political values. Please keep the comments clean. They are moderated.