Thursday, June 27, 2013

It Happened

I don't often post about politics, but yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States voted in a split decision to rule part of DOMA unconstitutional. (The part left in place was the part that stated that states do not have to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states - a completely unnecessary law as states have *always* had the right to decide what marriages to recognize within their borders).

This opens the door to federal benefits for legally married same sex couples. It does not change WHO can marry - that's been tossed back to the states. However, it extends hundreds of benefits to same sex couples that are legally married including joint tax filing, military benefits and immigration rights.

I think the tide may have turned. All we need to do now is...leave the conservatives alone. I've talked to a lot of same sex marriage opponents and while some of their concerns are either silly or deeply personal, there's one that's very real.

Will churches be sued for discrimination for refusing to perform same sex ceremonies?

That's a road we need to NOT go down. Marriage is a civil right, but freedom of religion is just as important - ours or other people's. The Catholic church has long refused to marry certain couples. In the grand scheme of things, some churches refusing to perform same sex ceremonies is not a problem, people. There are plenty of churches and Christian ministers that will do it.

Freedom of religion has to be for everyone and if we want freedom to marry the person of our choice we have to accept that these things have long been entwined in human society and not push our freedoms to the point where they damage those of other people. Even if we don't agree with them.