Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

In December, I had to register my car. The government requires that you do that -- it's within my right to OWN a car, but the state requires  that I license and register it and all of that through them. No big. Fill out the paperwork, pay the fee, own a car. Donesville.

While I was at the town hall, waiting, a woman came in for a marriage license. She asked some questions and she got one. Marriage, it seems, is a civil action. You get the license, you pay the fee, some sort of government-sanctioned person has to sign the license and prove you both wanted to be there and do indeed both WANT to get married, and then -- there you go.

There was a time when people of different races weren't allowed to apply for a license. There was a time when people of different religious backgrounds had a difficult time getting a license. Of course, we're so enlightened in this country now. Right? We would never deny someone the right to a legal license because of their skin tone. Or their religion. That would be silly. It's a LICENSE. Anyone can get a license as long as they have some ID and a checkbook. It's a civil right. Isn't it?

You'd think.

The arguments against gay marriage that I have heard are all religious -- and if that's your stand, that you object for religious reasons, than by all means. Far be it from me to argue with your spiritual beliefs or tell you they're wrong. But I will say this: I didn't go to your church to register my car. I went to a government office. I didn't write a check to your place of worship to get my marriage license either -- BECAUSE I COULDN'T. It had to be issued by local goverment. No clergy signed off on my wedding license because -- fun times -- I was very much not invited to have my nuptials in my local church. A friend became licensed -- again by the government -- to sign off and make my non church wedding legal.

Because it's a legal matter. Not a religious matter. It's about two people, making their commitment legal.

Two consenting adults, deciding to take their property and their lives and legally bind them together.

Does that take the romance out of it? Sorry. Civil rights aren't romantic.

Does that take the spiritual commitment out of it? The government (and politicians), as a rule, tend not to get involved with commitment. (A Google Search of "politicans and infidelity" brings up 330,000 results). The spiritual commitment between two people is NOT government sanctioned or licensed. 

Does that take the religious component out of it? Sure does. Last I checked, Church and State were meant to be a little bit separate.  Or, you know, a lot separate.

A lot of people get engaged on Valentine's Day.

I'd like a lot more of them to have the right to do so.

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