On a personal note… (and this will be brief, for now.. since I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say on the matter in the future)
I’ve been “engaged” for close to a year and a half now. The reason for the quotation marks is not to piss off my fiancée, of course. The reason is that we’re not too happy with the government institution of marriage.
In short, we both feel that we don’t want to be part of a club that discriminates against homosexuals. But at the same time, we are both strictly monogamous and want to spend the rest of our lives with each other. And we want to make sure that our rights are protected.
Unbelievably, some people don’t even think that atheist marriages should count.* Sad, I know. But it’s true.
A lot of impassioned breath has been spent on this issue and what the solution should be. But the solution is actually pretty simple:
Abolish the government institution of marriage and have civil unions for everyone.
What’s the purpose of state-sanctioned marriage anyway? Even when I was a Christian I was a strong supporter of gay marriage, and those who disagreed with me were never really able to explain this basic question. How would government recognition of your particular union as “marriage” have any affect on the legitimacy of said marriage? The answer is, it wouldn’t. At all.
So get rid of it. No, I’m not saying we should get rid of marriage. I’m saying we should leave the term “marriage” up to individual interpretation, and simply have a legal union contract (available to everyone) that the government merely enforces. That way religious people can get married in their respective churches, gay people can get married any place that will allow it, and my atheist fiancée and I can pledge eternal love to each other and spend the rest of our lives raising a family together the way we choose to.
In short, the state should have no role in marriage whatsoever. And if the state is involved, it should not bar GLBT people, atheists, or anyone else.
I love Christina Mueller, and if I want to call her my wife, the government should not be allowed to tell me I can’t.
Yes, it’s that simple.
* Without revealing too much, I was saddened to discover that some of these despicable people include friends and family members. If you’re one of these people, we need to talk.