It is a matter of civil rights


After the anti gay rights rhetoric that we have published in the Hub, I felt compelled to respond.

I was raised and confirmed Catholic. I am an active member of the United Church of Christ. I don’t want to get into an argument over what the Bible says or does not say about homosexuality.

What I must protest is the assertion that the issue of same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue. As long as the state handles marriage as a legal issue, same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue.

If the churches (or other religious organizations) want to define marriage, then we need to have separate civil and religious unions. This is actually the practice in some countries.

To those who say the government will force gay marriage on us, my response is: No, it won’t. No one is going to force you to marry some one of the same gender.

To those who fear that their religious rights are being trampled, I say: You are still free to believe what you believe. Churches are free to choose who is confirmed, who is married, and who eulogized in their places of worship. That will not change.

I have written before about the need for a separation of church and state. This issue is an excellent example. We cannot make laws based on a people’s interpretation of their chosen holy book.

My divorce and second marriage would be illegal and immortal under Biblical law, but state law allows it. Clearly, state marriage laws are not Biblical laws. In America, religious law is separate from secular law because freedom of religion applies to everyone.

Gay rights issues are not about morality, they are about civil rights.