Keith Olbermann said it best in his 'Special Comment' on November 10. "What is it to you?"
Olbermann, of course, was referring to the passing of Proposition 8 in California, which repealed same-sex marriage laws in the state. His six minute, emotion-filled discussion of the issue was genuine, practical and to the point. He cites past redefinitions of the term 'marriage' as reasons why the whole isse should be irrelevant in the political world today.
I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Olbermann that same-sex marriage should not be discriminated against, nor should we keep same-sex couples from obtaining the same benefits and intrinsic rewards of being married. However, I believe that we must go a step further in the legislation in ensuring the rights of couples who wish to be together.
'Marriage,' being rooted so firmly in religion, should no longer be the legal union guaranteeing benefits, especially if we want to legislate who can and cannot be married. Legislation like Proposition 8 attempts to define marriage in a religious context. In no way should we be legislating based on ANY religious teachings.
I contend that the term 'marriage' be completely removed as a legal institution, and we instead only legally acknowledge civil unions for ALL couples. Marriage can still be a religious entity in which two adults participate in a sanctified ceremony in a church of their choice, but to make this into law completely invalidates our Constitution's call for separation of church and state.
I do not believe that the law should prohibit people from getting married in the traditional sense, but I also believe that being married should not be legally ackowledged. This is not a religious issue. If it were, we would be talking about whether or not we should force churches or other religious entities to marry same-sex couples as well as straight couples. That has never been the issue and never should be.
How can we allow an instituion so entrenched in religious tradition to infiltrate our law and create such inequality in a country that claims all men are created equal? Marriage is ridiculously invalid as a legal union from a separation of church and state perspective.
Maybe in the future we can overcome our social prejudices towards INDIVIDUAL lifestyles that have no bearing on anyone else. I believe that one step in this process is to eliminate the legality of the instituion of marriage. What is it to you?