As I was driving to campus the other day I passed a church and the sign outside of it read: "All Are Welcome." I realized that many other churches I see, including my own, also include these three simple words on their sign. And for some reason, the next thought that ran through my mind was: Wait a minute, all are welcome? Not quite.
In theory, the words on the sign should ring true but they don't. Christianity is supposed to be inclusive and about love, but is that really the case today? How can a religion be about love and acceptance when main proponents of the faith are too busy spending time trying to fight against marriage equality?
This week, the Supreme Court has begun to hear arguments on Proposition 8, a law passed in California by voters in 2008 that bans same-sex marriage. What is at stake is larger than just one state. It is quite possible the Supreme Court could decide that Prop. 8, as it is usually called, is unconstitutional and that states cannot discriminate against same-sex marriage. What the Supreme Court will do is anybody's guess, but to me, the fact that in the 21st century, certain people can't get married in America because of their sexuality is quite frankly ridiculous.
The argument I often hear from those who don't necessarily oppose marriage equality, but are uneasy of the idea out of allegiance to their party, is that same-sex couples can still have civil unions; so, why do they need to get "married"? I'm sorry, but that argument is just as irrational as those who say that gay people getting married will ruin the moral values of America.
Let's flashback in time just a little bit to a period in American history where segregation was rampant. The term "separate but equal" was coined in order to rationalize the systematic separation of the races. Whites had their own restaurants, bathrooms, drinking fountains, you name it. Blacks had similar services, but they weren't quite on the same level. Simply put, whites were telling blacks, "You're 'free,' but not as free as us."
This bares a striking resemblance to what we have today in the fight for marriage equality. The message being sent is this: "Since you are gay, you can't get married like the rest of us." Kind of like how blacks were told, "Since you are black, you can't vote like the rest of us, you can't go to school with the rest of us, you can't enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of us."
I think I am making my point clear that denying someone the right to marry based on his or her sexuality is just like denying someone any civil right based on his or her skin color.
The fact of the matter is there is no reasonable argument against same-sex marriage. None. If you think it will destroy America's moral fiber, don't worry; people like you are already doing a great job at doing so. If you think the whole idea of civil unions is sufficient, think about if one of your civil rights was being denied based on something you have no say over. Finally, if you think it offends your God, or even Jesus, I'll leave you with this:
Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Translation: All Are Welcome.