Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The "simple moral imperative" of legalizing same-sex marriage

By Diane Silver

[updated 10:52 a.m. See bottom of post.]
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is oh so right to call same-sex marriage a "simple moral imperative." Spitzer, bless him, will soon be introducing a bill for marriage equality in his state. That makes him the first governor to do so.

The New York Times has a terrific editorial today explaining exactly why marriage equality is important and how it doesn't threaten anyone's religion. The Times notes:
Civil unions and domestic partnerships are an important recognition of gay relationships by a state. But they still represent separate and unequal treatment. One federal study identified more than 1,100 rights or benefits that are accorded only to the legally married. That means that even in states recognizing civil unions and domestic partnerships, gay couples often have to use legal contortions to protect their families in ways that married couples take for granted. Gay couples may also be discriminated against when it comes to taxes and pension benefits.

Religious groups, particularly the Catholic Church, are likely to be the bill’s most outspoken opponents. It should be clear that these religious institutions have the right to refuse to marry anyone within their own religious houses. But they should not be allowed to dictate who can and cannot be married by the state.

If I'm remembering this right, a Catholic organization was the largest single donor to the campaign that passed Kansas' hateful ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions.


The national Knights of Columbus gave $100,000 to the campaign against marriage equality in Kansas.

[end of update]

When will people realize that such bans infringe on freedom of religion?

The Catholic Church and a host of fundamentalists got their way in Kansas in 2005, but other denominations do marry same-sex couples. Their rights were trampled on -- not to mention the rights of families and their children.

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