Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
I'm going to play catch-up. To me, marriage has always been a way for two people who love each other to make a life-long commitment to each other. I think anyone who fights for the "traditional family unit" or whatever, should take a better look at the rate of divorce amongst heterosexual couples first, before denying this union to same sex couples. Maybe their time would be better spent fighting for mandatory pre-marriage counseling or tougher divorce laws, etc. than trying to keep two people in love from making that status legal. So, do I think it should be legal, hell yes. Why, because I think a gay couple has the same rights to fuck up their marriage as much as the next couple.
Now, this brings me to the rights of organized religions to say whether or not they will allow their ministers to perform those marriages. Since marriage is above-all (to my happily agnostic self) a legal union (and no, civil unions are not the same thing as a marriage) and not a religious one, and we do still have a separation of church and state in this country (at least on paper), I do think that every church should have the opportunity to make that choice on their own terms. Is it fair that same-sex couples couldn't get married in a church of their choosing... perhaps. But then again, there are plenty of beautiful venues out there, with a justice of the peace or non-denominational minister who would be more than happy to marry them. Also, I don't see too many Catholic churches willing to work with a couple of another faith, unless at least one of the two was Catholic. Or a synagogue willing to lend their facility to a non-Jewish couple, etc. So it's all relative. Does it hurt not to be able to get married in the church you grew up in, yes, I think it would. But as already mentioned, I don't go to church, so that's hard for me to judge. I never wanted to get married in a church in the first place, but some people do.
I read about something a while back. It was a story about a lesbian couple in Australia, I believe, who had decided to have a commitment ceremony. Gay marriage is not legal down there either. So they gathered together all of the documents needed to approximate the legal status of a married couple (medical consent forms, name change forms, wills, etc.) and part of their ceremony was signing these legal documents together. Well apparently it took them forever to sign everything and it really brought home to them and to their guests what a legal hurdle they have to jump through to have the right to visit each other in the ICU, to inherit the others possessions, to be able to have legal guardianship over their children, etc. when for a straight couple all it takes is one signature (and a bunch of very easy name change forms, for women, not so much for men). I don't think that's right.