NY: No Rights or Rites Have Been Harmed

By E.B. Boatner July 28, 2011

Categories: Causes, Our Affairs

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Mike Gillis’s (KLAY AM; 1180 Tacoma), recent blog title, “Christian Privilege: Not Being Allowed to Dominate Others Doesn’t Mean You’re Being Oppressed” goes to the heart of the gay marriage matter.

The recent decision in New York to let same sex partners marry legally does not signal a new era where gays and lesbians have “more” rights than heterosexuals, merely that they have the same rights–though not, as yet, under Federal law–as their fellow citizens to choose a life partner and assume the privileges and burdens as their straight married neighbors.

A church or synagogue may bestow a spiritual seal to a couple’s nuptials, but the civil arm of the state confirms the union’s legal existence. The recent law is all about the civil side. No Christian religious body is being attacked, undermined or discredited, nor is a given church being forced to marry anyone.

Google “Christian” in any number of sources and you’ll find that adherents comprise roughly 75 percent of the religious affiliations in the United States, while all of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism together make up only 5 percent; undecided, atheists and so forth, account for the remainder.

Gillis effectively summarizes that, “…human rights are not a popularity contest. The people with the greatest numbers can change the tax system, or affect policy changes on things like roads or healthcare, but they cannot enforce their religious beliefs on any minority.?And this is what many Christians seem to have a real problem with.?No one’s rights are being trampled if same-sex marriage is legalized.”

I’ve made the point here before that if the civil rights of African-Americans and other people of color had been left to a popular vote, there would still be Jim Crow laws on the books. You don’t have to like it that your black neighbor can vote or that your gay neighbor can marry: but those facts do not mean that your rights are being infringed upon when they do.

No one has yet given me a reason why the marriage of two men or two women would rock the foundation of anyone’s heterosexual union. Of course, this applies to religions other than Christianity; dietary, sexual laws and prohibitions that are enforced within those religions cannot bar others from eating meat, or pork, and so forth.

The religious rites of one group, however populous, do not outweigh or cancel the civil rights of others.

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