The following column was written by Claire Anderson in The Massachusetts Daily Collegian where she is a journalist. Claire grew up in our congregation, and her parents are both active members. Roger serves on the Board of Trustees; Linda sings in the choir and serves our Membership Committee. We wanted to share Claire’s column as one of the many ways that our grown “children of the congregation” are leaving their mark in the larger world.
My best friend recently booked a hall for her wedding; she’s getting married at Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. Everyone is invited if they choose to come. It’s going to be a cool, modern day fairy tale but with wine, thousands of children screaming and Space Mountain in the backyard.
With plans of this magnitude, there is, of course, a waiting list for the castle. The wait is five years, so we planned a little ahead. Not only did she put down her name before the guy proposed, but she put down her name before she even had a guy. We aren’t worried, as she has until August of 2019 to find one and convince him to marry her. If she does not have a man by then or is not in a serious relationship with a guy, I will get married there. And if neither of us is in a serious relationship, we will get married to each other.
That’s the deal; well it’s really a joke. We planned it out: we will both wear princess dresses and Mickey Mouse will officiate. The only problem, besides our lack of money, is Florida’s view on gay marriage.
Florida is different, to put it politely, and its populace’s views on gay marriage reflect its dislike for different views. But the state’s not alone as only 11 states have legalized some form of gay marriage.
Unfortunately, 39 states are still living in the Stone Age. In the November election, three states passed gay marriage legislation by a popular vote.
Americans, in many polls, have stated that they’re in favor of legalizing gay marriage. A Gallup poll done last year declared 50 percent of Americans are in favor of a statement such as: “marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.”
President Barack Obama also declared last year, via Vice President Joe Biden on “Meet the Press,” that he is in favor of gay rights. Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples being “entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil liberties.”
Over the last two decades support for same-sex marriage has gone up considerably. In 1996, a similar Gallup poll found that 27 percent support gay rights, while 68 percent were opposed.
Gay marriage is a social issue, not necessarily a political issue, which is why the federal government should not demonize gay marriage through the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or even legalize it. Gay marriage has to be achieved in the states, in communities and in schools before being decided by the federal government. Several appeals to DOMA have been filed and several of these resulted in DOMA being declared unconstitutional. Several of the court cases are awaiting review in the Supreme Court. I feel that the court needs to strike down the act as unconstitutional, so not only more state constitutions with anti-same-sex marriage legislation will be challenged, but also so that more Americans will not view same-sex couples as a threat. Consequently, same-sex couples will be granted the same legal and social rights as heterosexual couples.
Social issues should not be decided by the government. All Americans should be protected and currently, federal legislation is not protecting gay couples.
Claire Anderson is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached email@example.com.