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Saturday, September 23, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part I

It is wrong to deny women and men the freedom to be married.

It is wrong and Un-American.

It is inhuman, against humanity.

There is a continuing struggle over civil liberties and human rights in our culture, and around the world. It is a struggle that divides Americans at every level; in our governments, in our churches, even friends and families.

This debate must be conducted on clear terms, and while it is true that the American people have found justice in the struggle for marriage equality, the risk is still great that this justice is merely a temporary reprieve.

Rights that are acknowledged in one decade, can be rescinded in the next.

We must be diligent, we must jealously defend the rights of all Americans, take up the cause on the world stage, albeit as late comers, but nevertheless as champions of human dignity for the remainder of the world whose cultures are still struggling with these basic rights. 

This discussion surrounding marriage equality needs clarity, because it is all too often confused by a whirlwind of emotions, rhetoric and religious fervor; it is obfuscated by legal jargon, pseudo history and dubious theology.

As a Christian theologian and historian who believes firmly in the separation of church and state, as a person from a multi-racial family with a lifelong interest in civil rights and the full enfranchisement of all citizens, as a veteran who served this country out of a firm belief in American values and the guarantee of freedom for every individual, as a heterosexual male raised in one of the largest homosexual communities in America, as a person who has worked and played with, befriended, worshipped beside and loved gay men and women, all of my life; as an American, I feel a calling to raise my own voice in the face of the storm, to still the whirlwinds of protest and oppose those people who would like to put, my friends and family, my neighbors, my fellow Americans back on the outside.