A Matter of Equality (Part 1)

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“Proposition 8 eliminates right of same sex couples to marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized as in California.”—Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet.

On November 4, 2008, Proposition 8 passed.

In this corner, Pastor Rick Wood (PRW); and in this corner, writer, wife, and mother, JD Smith (JDS). Two members of the same community with opposing views.

The Pastor voted for Prop 8, but due to a backlash against the church, he doesn’t feel as if he has won anything. JD Smith voted against Prop 8 and even though the proposition passed, she is confident that equality for all is the direction the evolutionary flow of life is headed in.

PRW defines marriage based on the Bible, as a covenant between a man and a woman, only.

JDS consulted as many dictionaries as possible for the definition of marriage. She discovered that the word “marriage” was surprisingly not once referenced as being created by the Bible but rather comes from the Anglo-French, from “marier”—to marry —dating back to the fourteenth century. JDS does not use the religious definition of a marriage to describe a state institution. Several different dictionaries actually define marriage in much the same way—the state of being united to a person, the same or opposite sex.

PRW asks, “Has the definition of marriage for the entire history of humanity been wrong until now?”

JDS asks, “Does the opening of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” only intend to mean men? Or does it also include women? What about homosexuals?

If women are considered to be included in the statement, “all men are created equal” without changing the wording to the Declaration of Independence to include the word “women,” then why shouldn’t same sex couples be able to marry without amending the Christian church’s definition of marriage to include same sex in addition to opposite sex?”

PRW asks, “Who gets the right to define marriage?”

JDS responds, “Not the church. The church has a right to its beliefs and values. Any church and or religion should have the right to say who they will and will not sanction in marriage. But they do not have the right to define marriage for the state, country, or world at large.

Defining marriage for a state law based on a church definition is the beginning, middle and end of this entire debate, making the whole point moot, as we do still have a separation of church and state regardless of whether or not people choose to believe it.

The state governs marriage, our hearts govern who we love and in America, land of the free, religion only governs those who allow it to. With one God and many religions, God is not religion. The Bible is the law of the Christian church not of our glorious, melting pot country as a whole.

Not all married heterosexuals were married in a church. I myself, a woman, married my husband, a man, in 1990, in a park, by a justice of the peace. Does that mean we have a civil union, or a marriage, or both? Under PRW’s definitions, does that mean that all heterosexuals who are not married in a church only have civil unions and not marriages?

My marriage was not sanctioned by the church; but it was sanctioned by God, in nature (our definition of church), and how my husband and I know and define God—as love. I had a civil union; but because I married someone of the opposite sex, my union is granted the privilege of being defined as a marriage. The gender of the person I choose to have a civil union with should not determine whether that union is deemed a marriage or not. The state law is responsible to protect the rights of all its people. Marriage and who we marry are two separate things.”

PRW states. “I believe that ‘two flesh’ becoming ‘one’ is only possible through the joining of ‘parts’ that were made to fit together.”

JDS responds, “Interesting. I know a lot of women who are married to men with parts that don’t work and therefore no longer fit. In fact, I think men with broken parts is an epidemic for if it weren’t, pharmaceuticals like Viagra and Cialis wouldn’t be the billion dollar business that they are. I think a lot of heterosexuals would be offended by the notion that only men with working parts ‘fit’ their spouses and therefore earn the right to marry or be considered married.

For that matter, it seems to me that two men can fit their ‘parts’ together just as well as a man and a woman can. So if the right to be married is based on making ‘parts’ fit, I think that would include same sex couples as well as excluded some married couples of opposite sex with broken ‘parts.’”

PRW states, “Only the male/female bond brings forth physical and spiritual children.”

JDS responds, “Really? I’ve been exposed to many a gay family with both spiritual and physical children, including those they actually procreated themselves. Just ask Barbara Walters. She recently did a story on transgender couples who were able to procreate before and after various degrees of sex changes. Likewise, there are many heterosexual couples who are not able to procreate. Based on PRW’s logic are we to conclude that only men and women who |can procreate are truly married?”

Part 1 | Part 2


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