It’s been less than a week since that Supreme Court ruling, and the challenges are just beginning. Texas governor Greg Abbott has allowed their court clerks to reserve the right to refuse providing marriage licenses to same sex couples, citing the prioritization of free speech and practice of religion. Conservatives and religious Americans are posting their letters online, and photos proclaiming ‘Marriage never changed’ are slowly going viral.
As much as I hope and pray that things will change for the better, it looks like it’s going to take some time before that becomes a realistic possibility. Some of these conservatives seem to think the worst of the LGBTQ community, with certain individuals proclaiming that they’ll be willing to serve jail time just to protest against the ruling which allows same sex marriage in all 50 American states.
For this particular piece, I’ve decided to break things down, rebutting particular assertions I’ve heard of or read about with my own arguments.
The Supreme Court is condoning sin by allowing homosexuals to marry. They are violating the sanctity of marriage.
One of the best things I learned from my Theology classes is that some aspects of the Bible were written in a particular context. An example of which being Paul’s writings on marriage and how men should treat their wives. I can’t remember the exact verses, but what I do remember is that Paul’s writings on that particular topic were written during a time when people believed that the world was ending, thus the reason behind some of the things he said.
There are supposedly specific verses in the Bible which explicitly state that homosexual acts are sinful, thus those commit these acts are considered sinners. Is there a possibility that those words could also have been written during a particular time period? Could they also lack a certain context and could people simply be too literal with regard to interpretation?
Okay, even I know that sounds impossible. Maybe that really was Jesus’ point– he did after all preach marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Then again, is marriage a social structure that is exclusively Catholic/Christian? In the US, are the majority of LGBTQ individuals even Catholic/Christian? If that’s not the case, then why is it that these religious individuals feel that the Supreme Court’s idea of marriage should align with their definition of what marriage is– are they even the majority?
What happens to the members of the LGBTQ community who are devout Catholics? I haven’t read accounts of people like that, but honestly, I feel bad for them. I can’t possibly imagine what it could be like to try your very best to practice your religion while at the same time feel a certain way towards your lover. If these people believe that marriage is a way of showing their love for one another, but feel as though they are committing sin by marriage, what will happen to them?
Constitutional Conundrum: The Texas Case
I mentioned earlier that Texas governor Greg Abbott has encouraged court clerks in Texas to reserve the right to refuse to provide marriage licenses for same sex marriages, citing the prioritization of free speech and the practice of religion.
This sounds like future fodder for rhetorical arguments and collegiate level debates. Yet, to be honest, it’s a double-edged sword. If Abbott didn’t say this, court clerks in Texas will be forced to issue marriage licenses even if they personally didn’t believe in same sex marriage. But considering he’s already said it, he may have just instantly made things difficult for same sex couples in Texas.
Let’s check back in a few months or so to see whether this will indeed prove to be a hindrance for same sex couples in Texas. They can always marry in other states if it becomes an issue!
At the end of the day, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
We all have our thoughts, our beliefs and our opinions. Although it will prove to be a constant challenge not to voice our disagreement to how people are, we don’t always have the right to impose our thoughts and opinions on others.
One of the main reasons conservative Catholics in the US (and even in the Philippines) are voicing their disagreement towards this ruling is that they feel as though they are being imposed on. They believe that their disagreement toward same sex marriage will end up becoming illegal and they will be imprisoned because they are against what is now the law of the land.
But is that really what this ruling was all about?
There was nothing in that ruling that tarnished the structure of traditional marriage (I know conservatives don’t agree). From what I read, they simply allowed LGBTQ couples the same liberties provided to traditional couples. Forgive me, conservatives, but that very much sounds like a move towards equality to me.
Yet, this does not give members of the LGBTQ community the freedom to perform acts that disrespect traditional symbols of Christianity. I was very much disturbed by the photo that some of the people on my newsfeed were sharing which depicted people dressing up as Jesus and kissing. The display of love between this two women is a liberty they deserve, but they should have been more respectful with regard to the way they dressed themselves.
This brings me to my main point: respect.
As much as both sides may disagree with the belief systems upheld by the other, at the end of the day, we should respect each other’s thoughts and beliefs. If people disagree with same sex marriage, allow them to disagree. If they agree, then they agree.
Although, I draw the line with offense. I draw the line with those conservatives berating homosexuals and regarding them as lesser beings because of their orientation. I draw the line with senators and personalities who impose their beliefs on others and berate them when they refuse to agree. I draw the line with liberals who berate people of faith because they refuse to accept same sex marriage because of their beliefs.
I personally disagree with those against same sex marriage. I have made that very clear in the previous paragraphs. But in the name of free speech, free religion, and freedom as a whole, I respect you and your beliefs. Yet, I implore you not to bring other people down just because they don’t believe what you believe. You, my friend, have no right to impose on them.
Postscript: I apologize if my previous opinion pieces have been angled in such a way that they are steered toward pushing a particular individual or group of individuals to behave in a particular way. I believe we all are free to believe what we should believe, and it is discourse, and not imposition, that is the answer. [Thank you, Philo 101-102!]