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Thursday, September 28, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part VI

Because I do not fear the marriage of same-sex couples, it is difficult for me to comprehend the fear that other people have regarding it.

Fear itself is irrational.

Many people fear the unknown, fear change, fear what is different.

I have heard it said by the opponents of same-sex marriage, that same-sex unions; threaten, undermine, weaken the institution of marriage among opposite-sex couples.

I have seen no evidence for this, and though evidence for this has been asked for in court, none has been presented that the courts have taken seriously.

Nevertheless, opponents of same-sex marriage feel that this is true.

They believe it.

The D.O.M.A. law (Defense of Marriage Act), which has been declared unconstitutional, illustrates this point.

Opponents of same sex-marriage believe that the institution of marriage is under assault, that they have lost a major battle, and that the war against the freedom to marry is not over.

They believe that their own marriages are threatened by the marriage of same-sex couples. As a result, they believe that their traditional way of life must be defended.    

Until the twenty-first century, in America, there had not been a tradition allowing same-sex couples to marry. However, in America, traditions change, grow, and become more inclusive.

Right now, in America, we are doing something different. This does not happen by fiat, there is no automatic process at work. Changes in traditional ways of life, traditional points of view, traditional beliefs, do not come without struggle. There is always a push and pull, and then a watershed. America is changing, even as one group of Americans grow more and more accepting of same-sex relationships, another group becomes more recalcitrant. One group of Americans seeks to use the powers of government, and law to narrow the franchise of citizenship, while another group struggles to expand it.

This is a tug of war, and the rights of every citizen hang in the balance.