The same church that has held the funerals of presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and the inaugurations of FDR and current president Barack Obama, will now ring its bells in favor of equal rights.
The U.S claims to stand for equal rights and freedom for all of its citizens. If this is so then why is there such a contentious debate over whether or not two individuals, gay or not, should be married?
It would seem that the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde would agree that to deny people equal rights based on their sexuality is wrong. Budde recently allowed the use of new rhetoric in the marriage right in order to allow same-sex couples to marry. This decision affects 89 congregations in DC and Maryland.
This decision came in succession to other progressive actions made by the church within the last decade beginning with the elevation of Gene Robinson to the rank of bishop despite his sexual orientation. There was also a decision in July of last year to allow the blessings of civil unions.
Now the church is being met with mixed responses on whether or not the recent decision to grant gays and lesbians the right to marry, in states where gay marriage is already legal, was the right choice.
According to Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the National Cathedral, most of the reactions have been positive, but some people have voiced angry responses.
Hall summed up his position in an interview with Fox New’s Jamie Colby, saying that if marriage is good for heterosexual couples then it must also be good for homosexual couples.
Hall makes a sound statement by suggesting that if churches are to advocate marriage, then they should advocate it to all couples. Is it really that difficult to get behind such an obvious message of equality? This issue is akin to the civil rights movement 50 years ago when men and women were discouraged from marrying due to another form of discrimination.
The resistance to such an obvious cry for mutual equality in America, regardless of any personal lifestyle choice, is shocking. Much of it stems from hearsay and is spread by those who blindly say that they will not accept any movement in their position.
Gay marriage has even been compared to beastiality and polygamy. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia compared homosexuality with the above acts as well as with murder. Scalia was later asked by a Princeton student to defend his comments.
Scalia responded by saying that he was not equating the acts of bestiality or murder with homosexuality, he was simply relating them.
“I’m surprised you weren’t persuaded,” Scalia said. He later went on to explain that his argument was a form called the reduction to the absurd.
But maybe Scalia’s less than tactful argument has some value after all. When we compare his relation of homosexuality with deplorable crimes like murder, to other arguments that can be heard in our own town, we might stop to simply consider how absurd the accusations really are.
Gay marriage isn’t murder, and it certainly isn’t beastiality. If homosexual marriage is passed and equal rights are finally bestowed to the demographic concerned, then it will most likely not affect the heterosexual community. Really, the only thing that will change is the fact that gay men and women will be allowed to openly proclaim their love through rings.
So, maybe we should put prejudice behind us and, if anything, do a favor for jewelry stores all over the country and allow the sale of wedding rings to experience an economic boom.