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Overcoming the gay marriage stalemate

BY GUEST OPINION | DECEMBER 06, 2011 7:20 AM

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As a strong supporter of gay marriage, I believe every state in the union should legalize it. However, governments can legalize it all they want, and the churches can still refuse to wed gay or lesbian couples. Separation of church and state works both ways, much to our frustration in this scenario. If you want to keep any religious affiliations out of politics, then you have to keep politics out of religion. Several times, this line has been blurred, and it is best that it remains a massive wall.

Should churches refuse to wed gay or lesbian couples, it is their right as our government sees them as sovereign entities. They cannot be influenced by legal means. To overcome this stalemate, we need to treat them the same way we treat other sovereign entities in our country — protesting and policymaking.

The Westboro Baptist Church shouldn't be the only group out there protesting other churches. That said, you may need to be conscious of what is going on during the day before you protest said church. Certain events would be met with high resistance, and it's important to recognize that religion is a very sensitive topic, and this idea could lead to high tensions. Choose a day with a normal service. At the same time, make sure your protest does not have any political affiliation, as this could blur the line again and be used against you.

The next way to get past the stalemate, and one that is occurring already, is for groups of supporters to form or modify their own congregations. Several churches have negotiating bodies in addition to resources for branching out and creating more congregations, as well. There are congregations that will wed homosexuals, and that's totally cool. Get in contact to see how they justify their church's views.

The idea that gay marriage is what destroys the sanctity of it all is completely backwards and wrong. There are a multitude of things that one could do to destroy the sacredness of marriage. Marrying for political gains, sensationalism, or money will destroy a sanctified marriage. Simply put, divorce destroys marriages. The United States has a high enough divorce rate. We shouldn't teach our kids that the gender of those getting married determines its sanctity. We should teach kids that, gay or straight, you make that marriage work.

The important thing we should shun in society is divorce. Divorce is an extremely messy process, which destroys marriages and can cause problems for children. Nobody marries, ideally, with the intention of getting divorced, but 50 percent of first marriages in the United States will end that way. Divorce itself is not something unjustified or unwarranted. There are situations that completely warrant a divorce, such as abusive relationships. But if abusive relationships are the reason for divorce, then why the hell does the United States have so many of them?

Jordan Gillard is a senior geology student at the University of Iowa.


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