Proposition 8

As the debates continue in California over Proposition 8 and the legalization of same sex marriage, I can’t help but wonder what goes on in some of these peoples’ minds. The Advocate has been tweeting during the hearings and I find the whole process fascinating (and at times head-scratching-worthy).

Two years ago, the State of California legalized same sex unions. Five months later, a state vote determined the unions illegal through this Proposition 8. So, then all those couples who were married in that 5-month period were told their union was suddenly revoked. And today, two of those couples are taking their case to court to have Proposition 8 thrown out.

What makes it so difficult for me to wrap my brain around this whole issue is how people see same sex marriage as detrimental to the state of Holy Matrimony. Or that a state can say it’s legal for two people to be united in love, then immediately turn around and say “Oopse! My bad! Takesies Backsies!”

One of the major (read: LAME) excuses they were using yesterday in the hearing (yesterday the court asked the attorneys to focus on the history and purpose of marriage) was procreation. That the reason for marriage was to create life; to bear children. Of course that brings up a host of questions regarding opposite sex marriage, then! What about those couples who can’t have children, or the couples who are getting married in their 70’s and 80’s who are too old to bear children? What about those who marry and decide not to have children because of their professions or any other reason? Would those marriages then be nullified? They’re not procreating, which means their marriage is a sham.

Or how about the other direction? What about those couples who have a child and choose not to marry? Or the woman who had a child and doesn’t know who the father is. Will the state force them all to be married because the child was created?

The way I understand it, marriage wasn’t created for procreation. It wasn’t created to increase the economy. Marriage is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace and blessing. It’s a tangible understanding of an intangible co-mingling of two souls who love each other so much they want to become one. In Catholic theology, marriage (Holy Matrimony) is a sacrament. It is also the only sacrament of the seven that the church does not impart; it’s simply there to bless the sacrament. The reality of holy matrimony is that the two individuals impart the sacrament upon each other and thus become spiritually united as one.

As for the state, it’s only there to recognize the union as having happened, and in doing so, will give the couple some added living benefits – like allowing them to file their taxes jointly, allow them to own property jointly, allow them to make decisions for each other, allow them to see each other in a hospital. On the state and federal level, it has absolutely nothing to do with religion or God (or even love, for that matter!). It has everything to do with economy. The union/marriage happens when two people love each other so much they vow to be united until death. God blesses that union, because it’s pure love that exists and God cannot deny love.

This is akin to the days when there were laws against interracial marriage. Today, such a thought would be unthinkable, but in the 60’s and even into the 70’s, it was the norm. We need to look at Proposition 8 and realize denying two people the right to unite is unthinkable. These are God-given rights. These are constitutional rights that people are being denied, and no state or government has the right to deny such things.