Gay marriage: About time or no way?

Today, a same-sex marriage proponent calls gay marriage the new normal. An opponent  says such unions erode the country’s moral fabric.

Let us know what you think with comments below. Moderator Rick Badie leads the discussion.

Lift marriage barrier for same-sex couples

By Matt Hennie

There’s a “new normal” brewing across the country, yet it embraces values that have stood the test of time: equality and freedom.

That “new normal” is what Gallup calls the acceptance of same-sex couples that they find is growing. A recent Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans agree that gay and lesbian relationships are “morally acceptable.” Even more say same-sex couple relationships should be legal.

Package that with the endorsement delivered earlier this month by President Barack Obama and it’s clear the tide is shifting in favor of marriage equality.

Acceptance is coming to Georgia, too, though at a much slower pace. A recent Landmark Communications/Rosetta Stone poll for WSB-TV shows 59 percent of Georgians are opposed to gay marriage, a number that has shrunk since nearly three-quarters of voters in 2004 approved adding a same-sex marriage ban to the state Constitution. It’s still substantial and a sentiment that is shared across the South.

But what the current polls don’t show is that Atlanta is packed with same-sex couples and ranks among the top five in large cities across the U.S. for same-sex households. It’s the same across metro Atlanta and the rest of Georgia. Same-sex couples live in the mountains, along the coast and in the southwest corner of the state, too. And these couples, just like their heterosexual neighbors, are in loving and committed relationships, promising to care for one another for better and for worse.

Unlike their neighbors, though, they can’t share their marriage vows with one another and legally show they cherish their partner in the same way their straight neighbors do. Don’t be lured into embracing the fears manufactured by opponents of same-sex marriage. They want to distract you from the Golden Rule, twist its meaning and convince you that what poll after poll shows — more Americans support same-sex marriage than oppose it — is wrong. It’s not.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that same-sex marriage is about rights or that because I may want to marry my partner some day means your marriage needs to be redefined. Plain and simple, this is about respecting the tradition of marriage, its importance in society and allowing gay couples to join the institution, not change it.

I respect the honor and tradition that comes with marriage; it worked for my parents, and I want the chance to have it work for me.

Gay couples share the ideals that marriage is a heavy responsibility and comes with a lifetime commitment and we want to express that to our partner. Gay marriage is not a game. It’s not a political strategy and it shouldn’t be used as a weapon to beat down the love I have for my partner.

Matt Hennie is founder of Project Q Atlanta, an online media source that reports on gay and lesbian issues in metro Atlanta.

Marriage: One man, one woman

By Ray Newman

After President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, I was interviewed by several media outlets. Each interviewer wanted to know my first reaction. I said, “I was not surprised.”
The simple truth is anyone who had been paying attention to the culture and signals from this White House would have known the direction in which it was headed. Vice President Joe Biden had indicated his support for same-sex marriage, saying he had changed his opinion after having watched a sitcom on television. I further stated that I was saddened by the endorsement.
Following the president’s announcement, many people began to second-guess its timing. It would be interesting to know why the Wednesday before the national observance of Mother’s Day would be picked as the day of the president’s endorsement. It is also interesting that following the vote on Tuesday in North Carolina, in support of a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the next day would be set as the day of the president’s endorsement.
There are now more than 30 states that have passed amendments or initiatives defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Thirteen states, including Georgia, voted in 2004 to add the definition to their constitution.
We come to this issue from several perspectives. First, the historic social issue of marriage. Traditionally, each culture for centuries has accepted marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In fact, the first definition of marriage given in the dictionary is: “The social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.”
We see the Judeo-Christian moral foundation as a major building block of societies and cultures. The Judeo-Christian moral foundation of our nation has served as the major building block of our nation. The marriage ceremony indicates before witnesses that a man and woman are joined in a covenant intimate relationship.
Finally, we look at this issue from a political viewpoint. We are watching as morals are moving away in order to assure rights. We are being told that, politically, we must evolve into an amoral world view in order to assure rights that are granted to certain behaviors.
I am saddened we have come to the place in our nation where cultural changes are now impacting behavior more than the traditional building blocks that have served us well throughout history. I affirm my position in support of the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The foundation upon which our nation is built must remain strong or we will see the nation fall into ruin.

Ray Newman is executive director of Georgia Citizen Action Project Inc.

NOTE: Comments have been closed.

84 comments Add your comment

c-bear

May 24th, 2012
2:04 pm

Most married people push the one man one woman issue as a way to reinforce their belirf that their partner only does the other. lol. not only does 25% or way more end in divorce… many more are banging many others !!!mm mf fm and even family members and pets!!! what;\’s tour point? aaahhhhh!

Chuck

May 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

The issue is once again returning to religion. Christians have a right to have a holy matrimony or whatever union they want in their churches. Don’t confuse this with civil or traditional marriages. What we are talking about here is marriage that is recognized by our government. There are rights and responsibilites that come with that piece of paper. Ever try getting survivor social security benefits if your spouse dies and you are gay? How about if you are straight and decided to go with a “separate but equal” civil union? How about in states that don’t even have civil unions much less marriage equality?

native atlantan

May 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

@SCGuy — Again, it is NOT what the majority wants, it about what is right. I don’t care if you call it marriage, I have no desire to have a church ceremony; however, I would like the ability to legally recognize the relationship I have with a partner of 25 years to afford us the same legal and financial rights afforded to married heterosexual couples. Civil Union — fine with me. Marriage — let the church keep it.

c-bear

May 24th, 2012
1:55 pm

Marriage is a simple tactic to keep people together after they breed. For the offspring’s sake. In front of their god and their friends to promise to stay together or face shane – and fear of religious dogmatic tales. If no kids are planned – no need to get married!

SC Guy

May 24th, 2012
1:50 pm

In correction to my last comment: just 27% of Georgians SUPPORT gay marriage while more than double that OPPOSE gay marriage.

Shelle

May 24th, 2012
1:50 pm

I consider myself a liberal and do not agree with same sex married. So stop throwing around the idea that liberals are disgusting and have criminal behaviors. if people choose to marry the same sex that is their choice. You cannot legislate morality. I still believe one man and one woman.

SC Guy

May 24th, 2012
1:48 pm

Oh and one other thing. I’ve been reading through the comments and most seem to support gay marriage. That’s pretty hilarious and shows who really seems to read the AJC. A poll conducted in the last week or so found that just 27% of Georgians opposed gay marriage while more than double that amount opposed it!!

jacksmum

May 24th, 2012
1:48 pm

Frankly, we do not need the state to sanction a religious institution (marriage). The state should recognize only civil unions between anyone (male/female, male/male, female/female). This would allow everyone equal opportunity to enter into the union we currently define as marriage. Marriage should be the purvey of the churches. If your church allows you to have a religious ceremony to “bless” or “recognize” your civil union, then get married, if not, either choose not to marry, or choose a different church.

This simple separation would allow everyone to be legally bound to another of their choosing, and religiously bound as the individual religious institutions see fit.

Jos. A. Mustich, CT USA

May 24th, 2012
1:43 pm

Marriage equality is a civil rights issue. And religions don’t own civil marriage or women’s bodies in American. Case closed.
Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT USA
Justice of the Peace.

native atlantan

May 24th, 2012
1:42 pm

I can’t even believe ‘Pat in GR’ could write such garbage. No one is asking you to endorse anything. The US is NOT a democracy — the majority does not rule. That’s the beauty of our form of government it ensures the rights granted by the Constitution and Bill of Rights are not subverted by the majority. Unfortunately, we now have state leaders who are too spineless to uphold these principles and who allow the majority to exert their preferences via the voting booth.