A Word In Edgewise: Separation of Church and Hate: Continuing Conversations


One can’t help but notice that most objections to legalizing same-sex marriage are religion-based. An opponent simply parrots, “It says in Leviticus” or, “It says in…” wherever the objector has seized upon his or her opinion.

There’s no point in listing here all the things that have been cherry-picked from the Bible and used over and over again against gays (lesbians, not so much) by the so-called religious right. However valid, however well thought out one’s own arguments may be, they will not be considered. Anti-gays will continue to twist words to suit their bias, not caring that Chick-fil-A’s bacon and sausage breakfasts are doubly treif for Jewish Old Testament kosher-keepers and Christians insistent on the Bible’s inerrancy alike.

So don’t waste your words. It’s but a moment until November 3, and there are plenty of religious folks in various faiths who know, work with or are related to, gays. They are willing to listen, to question, to discuss and want their gay neighbors to have the civil rights due all Minnesota’s citizens. Open conversations with those who may have concerns but who believe that gay people have the same legal rights to marriage, home and family protections as they currently enjoy.

The most important thing to discuss is the need for the separation of church and state that was the goal of the our nation’s founding fathers. Make it clear that future laws allowing same-sex marriages in no way means that a church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious group will be forced to perform a same sex wedding if its leaders do not choose to do so.

More and more churches are willing to perform same sex marriages if that is what a couple wants, but, just as in a heterosexual marriage, it is not the religious ceremony that legalizes the bond but the state’s certificate. Without registering a marriage with the state, no couple is legally married. Many heterosexual couples totally forgo a religious wedding.

Today many people of faith are realizing that denying other citizens their rights on religions grounds is not only unfair and wrong, but is a situation where religion subsumes the state. They are open to discuss gay marriage, to listen, to seek solutions. These are the people who we should engage in conversations, to open ourselves and share our lives: show that gays harbor no hidden “agendas” other than every citizen’s open “agenda” for the right to be able to marry the partner (One. Human.) of our choice and a chance to live life to the full, enjoying the myriad federal and state protections that our heterosexual neighbors do.

Speak out to friends who have questions, urge other gays and lesbians to engage in conversations at work, at home. Our voices need to be raised to make a difference. Consider what will happen if we don’t.

Vote NO in November.

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