Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gay Yonkers couple, advocates: 'We are pro-marriage' | | The Journal News


Gay Yonkers couple, advocates: 'We are pro-marriage' | | The Journal News

Gay Yonkers couple, advocates: 'We are pro-marriage'

By Michael Sabatino Robert Voorheis • April 23, 2009

Re "Marriage plans," a Friday editorial on Gov. David Paterson's bid to lift New York's ban on gay marriage:

Thank you for your support of same-sex marriage and enlightening your readership. It time to get this done and move on to the other social justice issues like homelessness, poverty and unemployment. National Organization for Marriage, which opposed lifting the state's ban on gay marriage, is using fear tactics. This idea of religious institutions being forced to marry gay people is hogwash. Are Catholic priests forced to marry Jewish couples? Is a rabbi forced to marry a Christian couple? No! So why would any clergy person be forced to marry a gay or lesbian couple? It will not happen.

If marriage is a religious institution then try going back to your church or synagogue to get a divorce. You can't, because it is a state contract that needs to be nullified by the state. Clergy always say, "by the powers vested in me by the state"; that's because each is performing a marriage on behalf of the state. Actually, officiates do not "marry" couples. The two people marry each other, and the officiate is the witness to the marriage. Besides, about 50 percent of the population that marries does so in a civil, non-religious ceremony.

Ours is one of the few countries in the world that allows clergy to solemnize marriages. In 90 percent of the countries, you must get married by a government official for your marriage to be legal, and then you can have your religious ceremony concurrently or afterward.

We as gay couples believe in, and support, marriage. That is why we want it. Marriage has always evolved over time. It used to be about property and dowry. It is only since the late 1800s that it was about love.

We are pro-marriage. Marriage validates our commitment to each other and those in society who become part of our lives. Do the Judeo/Christian thing and spend your money on fighting poverty, homelessness, sex education and finding homes for needy children, whether adopted by straight or gay people. Every child deserves a loving family, whether its a mom and dad, two dads, two moms or a dad or a mom.

The writers live in Yonkers.

No comments: