Gay Marriage and The Establishment Clause
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship… legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” (Thomas Jefferson)
In 1802 the Establishment Clause was declared by Thomas Jefferson separating church and state. On June 24th Governor Cuomo, of New York, put this clause into action passing a bill allowing members of the same sex to legally marry.
Is Illinois close to following in New York’s footsteps? I believe they should, as Jefferson said it all in separating the beliefs and rules of the church from the laws and guidelines of the state.
One of the first laws against homosexuality is published in the bible. Leviticus 20:13 states, “If a man lies with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed an offense, they shall surely be put to death…” Without this the human race may not have any discrimination or disdain towards couples of the opposite sex if God had not spoken against it.
Marriage itself is a sacrament within the Bible, making it a significant part of the church and separating it from the state. Between the sacrament of marriage and the laws of homosexuality in different religions the decision of homosexual marriage a significant part of the church in all different religions and should therefore be regulated by the church and not the government.
The Government should not be the head decision maker when it comes to deciding who a person can and cannot commit the rest of their life to. Marriage is a significant role in many religious institutions and by taking this law against homosexuality and prohibiting gay marriage, the government is forcing religious beliefs onto the public.
— Quina Miller, Staff Reporter
“Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.” – National Organization for Marriage
I agree with Quiana that the Bible teaches that marriage is to be a union between one man and one woman. I also understand concerns about the separation of church and state; it certainly would be disconcerting if the United States became a nation where people were forced to practice a religion in one particular way or denied their freedom of religion. However, this concern should not lead people to believe that a particular teaching, such as that of the sanctity of marriage, of the Catholic Church is necessarily false, invalid or inapplicable to the entirety of American society. Nevertheless, I will focus on secular reasons why marriage should not be redefined, and thus, why Illinois should not follow the actions of the state of New York in this matter.
Regardless of what any one particular religion teaches, there are solid reasons why marriage should not be redefined. First of all, throughout human history, across cultures, marriage has been the union of a man and a woman. Why is this? Well, governing bodies that have given married couples particular financial or other benefits have typically done so in the interest of sustaining the population of their society and protecting children. The government does not honor a marriage in this way just to promote romantic love or because it is a Judeo-Christian tradition, but rather because the union of a man and a woman is intended for procreation and protection of the children of the parents. Children ultimately fare better when they have both a mother and a father. Women cannot show a child what a father is like and men cannot show a child what a mother is like. Men and women are different; they are equal in dignity, but they are not the same.
Some people who want to redefine marriage would argue people with a homosexual orientation should be able to marry because marriage is a human right that everyone should have. They’re only half right. Human rights should be given to everyone. We all deserve full human rights. But marriage is not a human right. A person does not have a “right” to marriage; the state already limits who can get married. For example, you have to be of a certain age, and only one man and one woman can be married to each other. If you redefine marriage as anything other than something between one man and one woman, you’re opening the door to marriage as a union of multiple people, minors or any two people who want to be in a partnership just for economic benefits.
Others may argue that marriage is just a word. However, language is important. The incorrect use of language can be an insidious way of demeaning people. We have to be clear with our language, and marriage – what is marriage? Marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the building of the family, unit. If you want to talk about lifestyles of individuals, that’s something else – it’s not marriage.
— Mary Stroka, Editor-in-Chief