Soupy’s Soapbox: A Final Word On Gay Marriage

Anyone who knows me, or has read more than two posts on this site knows I am not a religious zealot (with the exception of my brief stint with the Westboro Baptist Church).

But I am a word zealot.

And perhaps, that’s where my problem with gay “marriage” lies.  I have no problem with two guys or two women spending their lives together and enjoying all the same legal benefits that heterosexual couples have.  I couldn’t actually care less.  I would even imagine that the “divorce” rate among these couples would be less than for traditional couples.  What I do have a problem with is using the word “marriage.”

With a more than 50% failure rate, there is no more inherent sanctity to an opposite-sex marriage than a same-sex one, so I can throw that argument out the window.  But marriage is a word, complete with a definition.  First and foremost, marriage is a sacrament — a religious ceremony.  Therefore, if you were not joined in a church or by a religious official, by definition you cannot have a marriage.  The legal version of a marriage, presided over by a judge, etc. is a civil union.  So whether you are a same-sex couple or a man and a woman, if you were wed outside of a church, you have a civil union.  Neither is better than the other; one is simply a religious ceremony, the other a state ceremony.  Remember how we’re supposed to be keeping those two things separate anyway?

So for me it is a question of semantics, but also of religious conventions being hijacked by a more secular world and then altered or downright bastardized.  It has been happening with holidays, mostly ones with some type of religious undertone, and mostly Christian ones.  I guess that’s because unlike some peaceful religions, we don’t behead people when we are dissed.

God forbid you wish someone a Merry Christmas anymore, and I guess St. Patrick’s Day is just too religious sounding for people who want to get drunk and vomit all over themselves, that Hallmark shops have taken to calling it Shamrock Day.  If the names or the history behind these holidays is too religious for you, don’t fucking celebrate them!  Believe it or not, there are enough people celebrating Christmas and pretending they’re Irish.  If you want a secular winter holiday, start one; and if you want a secular version of marriage, it already exists.  It’s called a civil union, opposite-sex couples have been taking advantage of it for millenia.

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