My Thought on the Prop 8 Ruling

California should rewrite all the laws on their books pertaining to marriage. Remove the word “marriage,” and any variation of that word, completely. They should then recognize civil unions between same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally—that is to say, with equal consideration across the board—thereby rendering the ruling on Proposition 8 a nonissue.

The main problem seems to be with that one word. Let the churches decide whom they wish to label as “married.” That’s not to say same-sex couples can’t get married. If you can find a church willing to sanction such marriages, let them perform the ceremony, and you can call yourself whatever you like. Let other churches refuse to recognize same-sex marriages under the umbrella of their beliefs, but not have the right to impose any of their beliefs on another person outside their congregation.

We cannot have freedom of religion without the separation of church and state. The line between church and state is very blurred, and perhaps even nonexistent in some areas. We, the members of a democratic society, cannot allow any religion, or group of religions, to decide the rights of everyone. The words of the Holy Bible, the Qur’an, the Torah, or any other religious text need only directly impact those members of their respective churches. We who govern ourselves write our own laws. We need to drive a wedge between church and state in order to protect the rights of everyone.

—Jerry P. Schwartz

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