Is marriage about love or religion?

The current gay marriage debate – which is not really being debated by politicans – is an issue that many people with different backgrounds have passionate opinions about. They argue about the definition of marriage, whether or not marriages are still sacred in our increasingly divorce filled, secular society, they ask about children, traditional gender roles, and religion.

But what really is marriage? As the unmarried child of divorced parents I am well aware that my immediate response to this sceniaro is not that of those who are married, or religious, or non-religious, or really of anyone but me.

But I fail to see an issue in the subject of two people of the same gender getting married – yes, according to the bible god wouldn’t like it. But there are lots of things we do in our modern world that we can interprate the bible as saying god wouldn’t like. He wouldn’t like men wearing three cornered hats for instance, or a menstruating woman sitting on a chair that a man can then sit on, or the stoning of adulteros women or children who disobey their parents.

And to be frank, what is the role that religions play in marriage nowadays? Gone are the days when a couple in crisis sought out a priest – now they are far more likely to go to a psychologist. Increasing numbers of couples are married by celebratns of a non-religious background. Some people don’t get married at all – they just have children, live together, pay their mortgage, go on holidays and generally just get on with life without a piece of paper binding their souls forever as one.

Marriage is changing – as a hell of a lot of societal norms are changing. Women earn close to the amount that men do, contraception is freely available, sex is freely spoken of, the colour of your skin is not a barrier to work or education or societal interactiosn (yes, sometimes these are just in theory – but we have puti n place the measures for best practice – they are not always carried out, but they are our aims) and people are free to act as they choose without the eyes of a disapproving church looking over their shouler.

So why then do we still refuse to acknowledge that a couple of the same gender should have the right to have a vceremony celebrating their love for one another? Becaust hat’s all it’s about – not god, or the word marriage, or changing societal norms – it’s about two people who love each other, wanting the people in their lives to hear and acknowledge and celebrate that love.

So how can we argue with that? How can we look a group of peope in the eye and say your love is not as good as my love? It is not worthy, it is not right, it is not like mine. Well that may be true of their sex live – but sicne when has what anyone does in their bedroom with their partner anyone’s business but theirs? If you believe in a god then what they do in their bedroom is between the two epope and god – and perhaps god will judge them – but that’s not any of your business either. Christians and other religious people were not put on this earth to judge the actions of others according to what they believe god would want – they are here to live the best lives they can, in accordance to what they think god would want. Religious faith is not a blanket excuse to be a condescending busybody. You do your thing – let everyone else do theirs.

So if we remove religion for the equation what are we left with – people protesting acknowledging a relationship due to how their parts fit together and the fact they don’t like the fitting of those parts, which are none of their business anyway.


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