What the Mormons (and others) don’t understand about freedom
It’s not religious. It’s not moral. It’s not even about family values. Gay marriage is a constitutional issue, but not in the same way that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormon Church) views it. It wants an amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman based on their beliefs. Not only is this an encroachment of religion into state matters, the entire idea of creating any law or amendment to deny a right or privilege to a group of people is unconstitutional!
Marriage is the acknowledgement of the state of the permanent relationship between two people. As I see it, this acknowledgement is base on contract law. Marriage is not seen as â€œsacredâ€ in the eyes of the law. Itâ€™s a legal partnership, and is accompanied by the paperwork one would expect of any kind of contractual agreement. How can people readily understand that denying a driver’s license to a woman based on the fact that she is a woman is a violation of her rights, and yet not see that in the eyes of justice, which is blind to a persons ethnicity, gender, etc., that the denial of a marriage license to a couple based of their gender is not the very same violation of rights!
The fight to adopt an amendment in any state or for the United States as a whole is a losing battle. The matter has already been dealt with in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which informs us that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” There will come a day when this amendment is applied by the US Supreme Court, opening the way for gay marriage in much the same manner as they did for school desegregation.
There is not much room for argument against the unconstitutionality of any law or amendment that would deprive homosexuals for gaining marriage licenses.
The weakness of the religious position is that marriage is not a matter of religion, but of the state. A church may perform marriage ceremonies for thousand if they wish, but if those people fail to apply for and be granted a license from the state, their marriage means little outside of their faith. For taxation, insurance, probate matters, and others, their marriage means nothing. The beliefs and practices of any religion are totally independent from state matters.
Mormons, other conservative Christian sects, and the politicians fueled by them all clamor to define marriage according to their beliefs. But what’s next? Should they then propose amendments to define what a church is and what it is not? How about baptism? How about salvation itself!
Living in a society where one is free to practice their faith to the fullest, with the only restriction being that the practice of that religion does not encroach upon the freedom of another, requires the sacrifice of any attempt to constrain the practices of others based on one’s beliefs. Allowing homosexuals to marry in no way reduces the value of any heterosexual marriage, just as a Catholic baptism does not reduce the value of a Mormon baptism. This is how a free society functions and we must work to protect those freedoms, and not try to restrict the freedoms of others.