Yes, I’m Religious—What Does That Have to Do With Gay Marriage?

To start, yes, I am religious. No, I am not going to say what that religion is. I might be Jewish, Muslim, or I might worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The point of this is that what my particular religion believes or doesn’t believe has no bearing in what I think about government policy issues.

If you’ve been awake over the last several years, you’ve noticed how social conservatives have hopped onto the gay marriage cause and made it the cornerstone of their movement. You may be wondering why, as two consenting adults marrying each other does not have much effect on anyone else’s life.

However, social conservatives are coming dangerously close to ripping apart the seams of much of what made this country. The first settlers that came to this country did so to seek religious freedom. That does not mean that they came here with the goal of making everyone follow their religion. (That came later, but I digress).

Freedom of religion should also mean freedom from religion. We’re not talking about allowing human sacrifice or child marriage. We’re talking about two unmarried adults freely choosing to enter into the contract of marriage. Many religions have their own views on marriage; mine does as well. However, unless we are a theocracy, that should not matter.

The government allowing same-sex marriage is not them saying that same-sex marriage is the best thing ever and that everyone should do it. It is not even saying that it, as an entity, likes or dislikes gay marriage. It is simply saying that what two free-willed adults choose to do is not something that government or other individuals should interfere in.

Those from the religious right would argue that gay marriage being legal would open our country to a whole host of social ills, from child brides and people marrying pets to the entire institution of family falling apart. This is a logical fallacy that doesn’t even deserve the time it takes to argue it.

Of course, there are things that the government should prevent and keep illegal. However, there are a few questions I ask myself when I wonder about whether or not government should step in.

1.       Does it affect anyone other than the people doing it?
2.       Does it infringe on anyone else’s rights?
3.       Is this a choice that a mentally competent adult can make for himself or herself?

More often than not, the signs point to the government not needing to intervene. This is how I see gay marriage. It does not affect me, or really anyone other than the people getting married. It doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights—people will still be able to marry opposite-sex partners. Same-sex marriage is a choice that competent adults can make for themselves. No one is marrying children or animals, nor are they forcing heterosexual adults to marry people of the same sex.