The Supreme Court of the United States will be turning its attention to two important civil rights cases this week, both of them regarding the right individuals to marry who they wish.
Rights. Civil ones. Let’s use the metaphor of air, because of air’s inalienability factor. When everyone gets to right to breathe – or marry whomever they wish, because the pair bond has that kind ubiquity about it – it doesn’t mean other people get less air. It means EVERYONE gets the same amount of air. People who have been able to take great big breaths continue to take them and people who have been respiring shallowly now get to take great big breaths like everyone else. No one has less air, nor has their ability to respirate been compromised – everyone gets the same. Say! it should seem self-evident!
I will admit to some bias on this one. I grew up with two fairy godfathers in my life, whose great care of my brother and me helped get us through my parents’ truly dreadful divorce. Their loving relationship and the depth of their commitment to each other – at a time when being openly gay could, and did, cost jobs, custody, personal safety, and so much more – showed me that a loving marriage could be between anyone. I learned very young that marriage was a matter of two people, not necessarily a man and woman; in the case of many of the gay couples I knew, they were doing a better job of it than many of the straight couples I knew. I am relieved that an increasing number of people across the nation – and the world – are seeing things this way now, although there are still tremendous battles being waged (which is why this is being dealt with in the courts – the electorate has not historically seen as clearly on rights issues as might be wished).
There is really no rational reason for two people who wish to build a life together to be prevented from doing so. Same sex couples are simply couples, and I look forward to the day when everyone sees it simply as marriage, with no additional flavours or explanations required.
Most of the objections really seem to boil down to religiously informed perceptions, and here is where the Separation of Church and State really comes in handy. Like air, and opinions, everyone can adopt some sort of religious set of beliefs, or as I like to call it a relationship with an Invisible Sky Friend of their choice. One’s Invisible Sky Friend may have all sorts of opinions on how life is to be lived, and one is free to listen to and act upon their Binky in the Sky’s teaching in his or her life. However, while one’s Binky’s ideas can happily (or not, depending on the ideas of one’s Binky) operate among one’s likeminded associates, they simply cannot be allowed out of the belief paddock – especially if those beliefs are used to keep others from enjoying the same rights as everyone else. When it comes to the pair bond, no one gets to dictate terms – we all get the same air.
Don’t agree with same sex marriage? No worries –you don’t have to enter into one.
Let’s all just keep breathing and let everyone else breathe too.
And hope the Supremes do the right thing.