No matter what side you are on in the debate over same-gender marriage, there is a simple path for everyone to get what they want, full civil rights for same gender couples AND protection of the institution of marriage. How? The conversation should never include religion period!
As citizens of this country, we are Americans first. As a democracy, we are governed first and foremost by our Constitution. In that document is the protection for religious freedom AND equal protection under the law.
Although many Americans are Christian, not everyone is! We are Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, Spiritualists, Atheists, Humanists and everything in-between. Within each of these belief systems are conservative, moderate and liberal factions.
How then as a free democracy can we possibly think we can solve any social or political issue when religion is part of the discussion? Itâ€™s worse than trying to herd cats.
Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy, president of the national Interfaith Alliance, put it very simply, â€œIn a democracy, the Constitution trumps all.â€
If you want a theocracy, get an island and start one. If you value REAL freedom and Democracy, letâ€™s separate the legal contract, rights and responsibilities of what we now universally call marriage from religion entirely for EVERYONE.
The solution is civil unions for all and marriage only for religious groups. ALL religious organizations will have an exemption and donâ€™t have to â€˜marryâ€™ anyone they donâ€™t want to. However, anyone can become Civilly United.
Thatâ€™s the easy part.
Each side must to give something up. ALL Americans have to give up the term â€œmarriageâ€ and ALL Religions have to give up preventing LGBT people from obtaining full rights and responsibilities that now come with heterosexual marriage in all states and federally.
Thatâ€™s the hard part.