Same Sex Marriage and the Uncivil Arguments by Opponents

From a story in Providence Journal 5/2/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Marriage has denounced the General Assembly’s passage of legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island.

“Redefining marriage into a genderless institution to satisfy the demands of a small but politically powerful group is short-sighted policy that fails to take into account the rights and needs of the generations to come,” said Christopher Plante, regional director of NOM Rhode Island.

“Children deserve to know and be cared for by a mom and dad,” Plante said. “This law will intentionally deny children one or the other. “The full impact may not be seen next week or next year, but our children will be the ones who pay the price for this decision.”

“Without robust legal protections to allow these faithful people and groups to maintain fidelity in the public square to their religious beliefs, we’re likely to see a raft of lawsuits and governmental action such as license revocations, fines and denial of governmental contracts to these faith-based groups and individuals.”

When I read this statement, I was struck by the fact that Mr. Plante has chosen to ignore much of the scientific and social research into what makes a successful family and, therefore, promotes a healthy childhood.

There are millions of individuals, raised in “non-traditional” environments, that have gone on to successful, healthy, and productive lives.  As well as there are millions of individuals, raised in “traditional” environments that have gone on to wreak havoc in the world.

The key is a loving, supportive, involved approach to raising a child, not the presence of both genders.

I have no doubt Mr. Plante would be the first to scream indignantly if the Federal Government interfered with his right to practice his religion.

Yet, he demands the same government intrude on the right of same sex couples to the civil, legal, and moral right to marry.

Marriage, in spite of religious organizations claim to the contrary, has been institutionalized as a civil, non-sectarian, non-denominational, institution with legal and ethical benefits.

All of which I am sure Mr. Plante claims as his rights, but would deny others based on his particular religious bent.

There was a very good reason for the founders of these United States to specifically separate Church and State.

Mr. Plante said,

“Without robust legal protections to allow these faithful people and groups to maintain fidelity in the public square to their religious beliefs, we’re likely to see a raft of lawsuits and governmental action such as license revocations, fines and denial of governmental contracts to these faith-based groups and individuals.”

These words alone should be example enough that this is a battle over keeping Religion in Government, as long as it’s the “right” religion.  I wonder if the opponents would be so vocal if the government began requiring women to be covered in public, escorted by male relatives, and denied the right to drive.  All of which are enforced now by governments in this world.

Therein lies the danger of Governmental enforcement of religious doctrines.

Believe it can’t happen here?  There are those in this country that would welcome it.

No clearer example exists than this battle over defining marriage as Judeo-Christian believers would have it.

Opponents of same sex marriage want confirmation of the validity of their beliefs, and denial of those that hold different views.

This country prohibits polygamy, in spite of its well established holding in many flavors of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, et.al.  I do not see the major religious groups arguing for eliminating that restriction on religious doctrine.

The basis of marriage under law is contractual.  It has requirements, benefits, obligations, and creates these between two people.

We enforce the law regarding polygamy to protect, primarily, women from subjugation.  No one can deny the moral, ethical, and legal rationale for this.

I do not deny Mr. Plante’s right to hold his beliefs.  The religious sect that he belongs to is perfectly free to deny recognition to Same Sex marriages within the framework of their doctrine.

However, they cannot demand the use of Federal, State, or any other governmental authority to enforce it upon others.

There was a time in this country when we restricted businesses from being open on Sundays. When those laws were rightfully challenged and changed, the same prediction of moral decay was made, and it failed to come true.

One of the concessions opponents to Same Sex marriage offer is to call the union of same sex couples a “Civil Union”.  I would propose an alternative.  Since Mr. Plante and others like him would be relieved by just a change in a name, why don’t they change Marriage under a religious ceremony to Uncivil Union?

It would be closer to the truth of what they seek to prevent.

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About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of the novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, and Saving the Last Dragon available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working o the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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