Coming as I do from a very low church tradition, I find the kerfuffle over same sex marriage mildly…odd. I have always admired the traditions of the Society of Friends. When they marry, the two people involved get up in front of their family and friends and announce that they wish to be married. The emphasis is not on the magic words done by an individual with extra-ordinary powers to intercede between the divine and man. They just say it and go about their business.
(As a digression, I recall a mixed Friends/Catholic wedding from college. The Catholic side was very, very frightened that the “real” ceremony (the Mass) be performed first.) I wonder why there is such a strong interest in having the .gov or some other authority put the stamp of approval on marriage. It strikes me as not being the business of government at all, and an atavistic throwback to the days when people were concerned about miscegenation.
Personally, I think the take from The League of Ordinary Gentlemen: was spot on.
I find the government grant of social status a very unfortunate aspect of civil marriage and one I would do without if I could. I would prefer for my family and friends to think of me as married, or not, rather than to have “married” stamped on my forehead by the government. I know not everyone thinks this way, and I get a bit queasy when I think that many people seem to prefer the government stamp to the personal approval of family and friends. … Wherever possible, and as a general rule, the government should not be in the business of conferring social distinction or granting social status. But if it must do so — if it has no other choice, or if political realities force the issue — status must be granted on an egalitarian basis, without regard to race, gender, religion, or even sexual orientation.
Right. Denying same sex marriages hurts and demeans living people. The arguments against it are abstractions, pointing to “societal breakdown” or “rubbing faces in it.” That abstraction isn’t enough IMHO.