30 Day Blog Challenge Prompt:
These days more countries are legalizing same-sex marriage. There are other countries adamantly against it. People are the same, for or against it, and are usually quite vehement in their beliefs. I looked up the definition of marriage in Webster's dictionary and was surprised to find the argument continued there with a differentiation between marriage between people of opposite sexes and those of the same gender.
Personally, I think one's stand on the issue must depend on one's definition of the word marriage.
Some believe marriage is a legal and social contract instituted between two persons, their families, their communities and, by extension, the State. In this case marriage is something to be regulated and recognized by the State. And given this understanding the State should not prevent any two persons from being married.
Others believe marriage is something more - something instituted by God and maintained by Him. To these folks, the social and legal realities of marriage pale against the moral and religious ones. Given this understanding they and their churches and other religious institutions cannot condone same-sex marriage because they have moral issues with the underlying relationship between the two people.
Unfortunately, we use the same word to mean two radically different things.
We shouldn't. It just leads to trouble.
We should develop a new word, something that can gain the same connotation as marriage. Some have tried with the phrase "civil union" but that just doesn't work. Probably no word(s) will work right now, given the emotional charge of this issue. But we should search for some words to connote the social and legal definition of marriage as recognized by society and the State while maintaining a separate meaning for that recognized and condoned by the Church.
The State should not bar recognition of love wherever it is found. At the same time, the Church should not be forced to recognize what it finds immoral.
I hope we find this magic word soon, because when an issue turns love into hate, something's seriously wrong.
Copyright © 2011 Denise Duggan