Your Views for October 20
Marriage & religion
Gov. Neil Abercrombie states that his “decision to call the State Legislature into special session (regarding same-sex marriage) beginning Oct. 28 was based on doing what is right to support equity for all in Hawaii.” The difficulty is that, while same-sex marriage advocates seek benefit and tax law equality, they also seek societal affirmation through a redefinition of marriage. The issue therefore becomes not just an equity issue but a religious issue as well.
In debating same-sex marriage it is important to recognize that one’s views on same-sex marriage are largely determined by one’s religious views. … The two most prevalent religions in America today are Christianity and Humanism. I believe these two religions are what fuel the current same-sex marriage debate.
Christianity, a monotheistic religion, was brought to American shores by Europeans four hundred years ago. As a result, it is woven into our Constitution and the fabric of American culture. Christianity teaches that humans were created by God and that the Bible is the Word of God, our standard and rule for human behavior. God defined marriage at the time of Creation (Genesis 1-3). This definition was upheld by Christ (God incarnate) in Matthew 19.
Humanism, a non-theistic religion and relatively new to Americans, has been gaining in popularity from the 1930s. Humanists prefer the scientific theory of evolution to explain why humans are here. As such, this affirms they have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism does not accept supernatural views of reality; therefore, marriage can be defined by evolutionary societal and ethical values and is not bound by obedience to a god or creator.
In summary, same-sex marriage advocates should not look to the state to champion a redefinition of marriage because the state should not have the authority to define marriage. Marriage is a religious issue because its definition is largely influenced by one’s religion. On the other hand, providing benefit and tax law equality for all legal unions would achieve civil equity. This goal can be achieved without redefining marriage.
Equality for all now
Freedom of religion is in no way threatened by same-sex marriage.
I read in the paper an article (“State can act on gay marriage,” Oct. 16) about the “opponents to gay marriage” and their signs citing “Protect Freedom of Religion.”
My question to them is: In what possible way does allowing people of the same sex the same rights that heterosexuals have with respect to their marriage status affect your freedom to practice the religion of your choice?
This is as one of them properly stated a “civil rights” issue. Civil rights and human rights issues are meant to provide protection to minorities that are under oppression or under certain disadvantages, and that is why they are not to be left to the people to decide by vote. They are not meant to be popular nor widely accepted by everyone. It is, however, the politicians’ responsibility to create new laws or modify old laws to provide equal rights and protection to all citizens.
If human and civil rights issues were left to the people to decide, we would still have slavery, women would not be allowed to vote, interracial marriage would be illegal, etc.
It seems that to the opponents of same sex marriage this means that as soon as that law is passed, they are going to be forced to marry someone of the same sex. I don’t think that is going to happen, so, just carry on, pray to the God of your choice, and live your own life.
Let the people vote
According to state Attorney General David Louie “the Legislature ‘unquestionably’ has the constitutional authority to consider and enact a bill during a special session later this month” (“State can act on gay marriage,” Oct. 16).
Yet many of Hawaii’s voters are asking legislators to allow the people to vote on same-gender marriage instead of making a rushed decision in a 5-day special session.
Some legislators say that we did vote in 1998 and gave them the power to reserve marriage between opposite-sex couples. In 1998, we voted to NOT legalize same-gender marriage. Many of us did not like the wording of the measure on the ballot, which gave the leisure the right to reserve marriage between opposite-sex couples. However, we chose between the lesser of two evils.
At that time, Baehr v. Miike was before the judicial branch of our government and we wanted to be sure to not legalize same-gender marriage in our state so we were forced to choose poor wording over leaving it the judiciary. To not have voted on the measure in spite of the poor wording would have left the decision to the judicial branch of our government. We did not want that.
Today, we are once again asking our elected officials to respect and honor the spirit in which the measure was approved. Do not take our voices away from us. Bring the measure back to the ballot and allow the people to decide on marriage.
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