Gay Marriage and the Seperation of Church and State

In blogs, Gay Rights, legal issues/law/courts, Religion on April 8, 2009 by Editor Z

Rod Dreher reacts predictably to the vote by the state legislature in Vermont to legalize same sex marriage.

It is increasingly obvious that the US Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this matter soon. It is an untenable situation for a same-sex couple to be married in Vermont and Massachusetts and Iowa, but not in Texas, Nevada and Montana. I believe SCOTUS will constitutionalize gay marriage, and that being the case, it might be better for my side if it gets done sooner rather than later. If done sooner, there might still be enough backlash left in the American people to get a constitutional amendment passed erecting a high barrier or protection around religious institutions. Thoughts?

Thoughts? Well here Dreher means one of two things. The first could mean that the entire fate of civilization and Christianity itself rests soley on prohibiting two people of the same gender from getting married. The other is Dreher is unconsciously advocating for the separation of church and state without really knowing it.

A barrier of protection around religious institutions? Sounds like the separation of Church and state to me. The concept of the separation of church and state is often forgotten by religious conservatives in that it not only protects the government from the forces of religion but also religion from the excesses and management of religious institutions. Both need to be protected from one another at times. I myself compare it to the relationship between my best friend and my girlfriend. I honor both and want them to be harmonious in their relationship and even craft a friendship of sorts. But I don’t want the two to sleep together. That same co-existence and tolerance, yet distance between the affairs of government and those of state is just as necessary.

Marriage though can be a challenging one, since Marriage for many has both a religious and legal component. When a marriage certificate is sought and given that is the legal function of marriage thus the government. When at a wedding a religious figure such as a priest presides over a ceremony codifying that union in God’s eyes that is the religious function. Gays don’t seem so much as asking for the religious community to perform such marriages (although i would imagine they would like to be accepted or at least tolerated). Rather they seek the legal benefits and protections that come with that marriage certificate.



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