“Social conservatives seem to see a bigger threat to marriage from committed gay couples who want in on it than from straight ones who opt out of it.” – Margaret Talbot
On Thursday, Indiana officials agreed to recognize the existing out-of-state marriage between two Indiana women because one of the women has ovarian cancer. Recognizing the marriage allows the other woman and the couple’s children to receive death benefits. To this I say bravo. But it took a court filing by the couple to make it happen. The state would not have done it otherwise. It shouldn’t have to be that way.
So much has been said about the red hot topic of gay marriage over the last few years that it has become something impossible to ignore. Opinions are very strong on both sides.
Indiana has become a battleground for the issue with the state’s much discussed ban on same-sex marriage being recently overturned by a federal appeals court. The measure now appears to be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court with the potential to change things for the entire country.
As you can probably guess by now, I am completely against this ban. And for me, it’s simply a matter of common sense.
Indiana law allows marriages to be performed by:
(1) A member of the clergy of a religious organization (even if the cleric does not perform religious functions for an individual congregation), such as a minister of the gospel, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi.
(2) A judge.
(3) A mayor, within the mayor’s county.
(4) A clerk or a clerk-treasurer of a city or town, within a county in which the city or town is located.
(5) A clerk of the circuit court.
(6) The Friends Church, in accordance with the rules of the Friends Church.
(7) The German Baptists, in accordance with the rules of their society.
(8) The Bahai faith, in accordance with the rules of the Bahai faith.
(9) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in accordance with the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
(10) An imam of a masjid (mosque), in accordance with the rules of the religion of Islam.
That’s straight from Indiana Code, folks. Here’s a link. To summarize, an official does not need to be affiliated with Christianity or ANY religion for that matter to perform a marriage. So by extension, religion itself does not need to be present in any marriage ceremony for the marriage to become legal in Indiana. So what’s that again about marriage being strictly Christian and/or religious? Longstanding Indiana law says otherwise.
Indiana Code also requires people to be at least 18 (or 17 in special circumstances) to get married. There’s no language whatsoever about a maximum age. There’s no language to prohibit grandma from remarrying after grandpa dies. And I don’t think the new couple are going to have any more children. So let’s hear those arguments about the purpose of marriage being procreation. State law does not mention it.
In every part of the Indiana Code, the law says “two individuals.” Polygamy is not permitted. It also makes no mention at all about animals, inanimate objects or anything else getting married. Perhaps it should to satisfy the people who scream that allowing gay marriage will open the door to “me marrying my dog,” etc. It’s sad that people make such arguments in the first place since it’s very clear that a dog or truck can’t sign their name on a marriage license.
Other arguments against gay marriage include the belief that same-sex couples can’t be the type of parents who will raise well adjusted children. While I think that’s a completely silly position, let’s say for the sake of this argument that there’s validity to it. Who said a married gay couple needs to adopt? If they don’t adopt would you still be against the marriage?
So the bottom line here is that common sense AND existing Indiana law shoot down pretty much every argument against gay marriage. What’s left? The unspoken truth behind virtually all of the gay marriage opposition is, “I find it distasteful.” It’s discrimination plain and simple.
So if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t attend the ceremony. Don’t associate with the couple. But don’t prohibit two consenting adults from committing their lives to each other.
And when you think about it, allowing gay marriage is the most pro-family position you can adopt. It’s telling gay people that they are expected to live up to the same standards as straight people instead of “living in sin.” What’s more pro-family than that?