Ask AJ #3

by humanmama on July 22, 2011

Ask AJ #3 is brought to you from Melissa in greater Pittsburgh, PA. She writes:

“AJ, what are your thoughts on gay marriage in NY state?”


I don’t like this blog to be too political (or too anti-political), or too religious (or too anti-religious). I began it so that anyone reading it could feel sheltered from the harsh judgement out there directed toward new parents, and old parents, and women…actually, from judgement in general. I wanted to say “no matter what, just do what’s the best for you and your family, and you’ll come out okay and so will the kids.”

But I do have an opinion about gay marriage. So allow me to pull out the ol’ soapbox for a moment.

I think our country got it wrong from the beginning. [You still don’t know where I stand, I know. I like that. That’s why I’m drawing this out a bit.] I think all of what we call “marriages” should be “civil unions.”

I think that when two people, not related and of age, want to join in a legal partnership, they should have to get a license for a civil union. So all the “legal straight marriages” we have now with marriage licenses would be actually legal civil unions. I believe if you want to have a ceremony or a church service or an occasion, it can be called a “wedding,” and that can be left up to the discretion of the two people getting the civil union. A “marriage” when you take the wedding-y stuff out of it is simply “an intimate or close union” (according to Webster, definition #3), and, if you want to get technical, that definition could be applied to a lot of relationships. Hopefully yours.

[Still not sure where I stand?]

I think that civil unions should be granted to anyone who can demonstrate they are legally of age and not related. Regardless of gender. [There you go.]

***To deny someone the right to be bound legally with another human, such as the “gay marriage issue” that is a hot topic today, is to deny someone a basic human right. It is to say “you are less” and “you are wrong” and the persons who are usually so adamant about denying people who are gay the right to “marry” are oftentimes the most conservative of Christians.

How odd. Since the very most basic principle of Christianity is to love God first, and then love others. Denying someone a basic human right to be together with the one they love is against that very core value of Christianity. Here! I’ll let Jesus himself explain:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Love your neighbor as yourself? That means love others just as much as you love and care for your own needs. Which is a lot, in fact, for almost all of us that is the number one priority in life.

There are many, many arguments to not letting gay people get married that can be backed up with strategically contextual verses from the bible. I know, I was raised by parents that began a church, then I went to a Catholic high school and then a Christian college. I met my husband in a Baptist church. Believe me, I know the arguments. But I ask you, if you are morally opposed to gay marriage, why?

Really, why?

Look deep inside yourself and ask the question: “Why am I against gay marriage?” It’s not a threat to you. (Gays are not really threatening, for the most part, I’ve noticed.) It’s not a threat to your marriage (that is, unless you are secretly gay and would immediately run off with a same-gendered partner and divorce your current spouse). Do you hate gay people? Do you hate the idea of being gay?


Does it scare you?

Why? Really, look inside yourself and think about it. You don’t have to tell anyone. Just think about that for a minute.

I heard Rob Reiner (famous director) once on a talk show, and he was saying something that really rang true to me about gay marriage. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that someday soon the idea that gay people couldn’t get married to each other will be as ridiculous a thought in this country as the idea that black people didn’t have rights, that women couldn’t vote, that hippies had to use a back door. It’ll be as preposterous as the idea that there was a time when a black lady was breaking the law for not moving to the back of a bus. One day soon, gay marriage will be so normal that it won’t be the hot topic anymore. And what will we do then?

Well, I assume we’ll just go on living. And loving. But, this time, equally.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill July 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Wow, AJ! I really couldn’t have said it better myself. You managed to take the words right out of my mouth. My argument with people has always been, “Why should two people who meet in Vegas (or anywhere for that matter), who barely know each other, have the right to “marry” just because they are straight? It’s crazy. Religion has nothing to do with it, unless you so choose for it to be a part. My wedding has no bearing on yours or how you view the vows that you took.

Not sure if you are a Gaga fan, but I was listening to her in an interview the other day and I thought what she said was so true….our government and those that support denying gays the right to marry are saying that homosexuals are “not as good” or “not as worthy” and basically modeling for our children how to bully those people. I, too, cannot wait for the day when we look back in disbelief that we lived during the time when people were denied such a right.

Nice job! :)


Katie July 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Nicely put, AJ! (Also, when you said “I like that,” I read it in Agheana’s voice.)


katie July 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

i couldn’t agree more with you. i’ve actually been thinking the same exact thing for a few years now. i would love to get a civil union with someone instead of engaging in a relationship that has the religious stigma that the word marriage has. and i am “lucky” that i even have the option of marriage now as a heterosexual woman. christians can keep their word and the rest of can have a new one with equal rights for all. i hope that rob reiners concept rings true in my lifetime.


holly July 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Excellent points AJ. As a lesbian with a kid and a wife… there is nothing that would make me happier than to be able to marry Ellen before Elise gets to an age where she realizes that we can’t be married like everyone else. Honestly, when it boils down to it, that’s what matters. The legal rights can (almost) all be achieved with paperwork. The discount on the insurance doesn’t matter to me or Ellen, and a ceremony would just be a party no matter what. But making my child think her parents are somehow ‘less’ is what really pisses me off.

I have personally heard a lot of people argue against gay marriage to my face, or even around me not knowing which team I play for. What is mind blowing to me is why it matters so much when there are so many more important things to be concerned with… like kids who go to bed hungry in our own country, or parents who can’t afford to take their own kids to the doctor. Usually, I respond to the arguments like you did, or mention how unfortunate it is that we don’t place the same value on love as we do on oil… or sometimes I just sit by quietly, knowing that one day it will be legal, or Ellen and I will become Canadians ;) one of the two is bound to happen.


Ela September 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I think gay marriage shloud be voted on by people of the states. It is a moral issue, not a religious one. There are Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and atheists who oppose gay marriage. It is not like telling someone to pray to Allah 5 x a day or take communion. It is not a central tenet of any one faith, so it does not constitute enforcing one religion on the rest of society, as England did 200 plus years ago. No state ever voted for gay marriage


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