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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Do Churches Care about Marriage Equality?

I am a 24-year-old straight single woman. If I were to get married in a courthouse, the church whose beliefs I ascribe to would call this a civil union and not a sacramental marriage. If I were then to obtain a legal divorce, my church would not recognize the dissolution of my marriage unless I obtained an annulment, thereby rendering any subsequent marriage an adultery in the eyes of God. I accept these things because I have chosen to abide by the rules of this faith.

What I don't understand is why we are fighting about same-sex marriage. If the government chooses to allow same-sex marriage, how does this make any difference in the eyes of the churches? They already can deny marriage to couples who don't choose to abide by their rules, and a lifting of a government ban won't change this First Amendment-protected right. The separation of church and state is a fundamental concept in the operation of our nation, but it's being overlooked here.

As to concerns about family values and moral corruption (which I won't comment on), aren't we as Christians (unfortunately, most of the group that is up in arms) called to love our neighbors -- everyone -- even if it's someone whose life choices we don't agree with? This battle is not one that should be fought on the national government scale.

We have more important things to worry about as a country -- like the extent of our foreign aid when there are millions in our own cities and rural areas in poverty without adequate housing, food or medical care. When we fight about issues like same-sex marriage, we are crippling the power of democracy, which we are so blessed to have. Let's stop being so selfish.

Jodi Dubyoski, Catonsville

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