As I See It |

As I See It

Amid all the furor over same-sex marriage, opponents loudly proclaim that it “threatens the sanctity of marriage.” Just how does the exchange of vows between same-sex partners diminish the commitment between a husband and wife? Is your marriage going on the rocks as a result?

The real threat to the sanctity of marriage is the current divorce rate ” more than 50 percent of marriages are taken so casually that they end in divorce. This should be of far greater concern than allowing homosexuals to commit to one another.

There are not yet any statistics, but it would be interesting to know how divorce rates of same-sex couples compare. This reminds me of a cartoon I saw many years ago showing a gay couple holding hands observing a cat-and-dog fight between a husband and wife, and one of the gays says, “See ” mixed marriages just don’t work.”

What we have to acknowledge is the complex nature of human sexuality. There are huge individual differences in sexual drive, from obsessive to almost absent. Similarly there is a full spectrum of sexual orientation from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual, with a middle ground of bisexuals who can lean in either direction.

If we believe that we are all born in God’s image and that all lives are equally precious in His eyes, how can we justify persecution of or discrimination against those whose personal lives differ from ours? Although we may not favor homosexuality, it is unjust to deny homosexuals the right of commitment and the financial and personal rights that the rest of us enjoy as a result of the institution of marriage.

The real threat of the same-sex marriage issue to our way of life is the intrusion of religion into our government, which a constitutional amendment would represent.

Opposition to same-sex marriage is a religious issue, and under the Constitution of the United States, religious issues should not enter into the governing process. Therefore a constitutional amendment invoking religious viewpoints is inappropriate and would establish a dangerous precedent. The framers of our Constitution were very careful to keep state and religion separated for the integrity of both ” they should be at arm’s length so that neither one can impose itself on the other.

Many tend to confuse morality and civil law. Just because our civil codes include laws against murder, theft and adultery, which are also included in the Ten Commandments, does not mean that our government is based on scripture. Such rules of human behavior are common to virtually every religion and government. So is the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which seems to have been forgotten by those who would ban same-sex unions.

A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage would be the first step toward converting this country into a theocracy, which is a direction we should be vigilant to guard against.

The strongest voices for such an amendment come from right-wing evangelical groups led by the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer and James Dobson, some of whom have openly stated their preference for theocratic governance of the United States. (Incidentally, I have often wondered how it is that these preachers of the faith who supposedly worship the humility and asceticism of Christ worship money even more. They all sit atop financial empires built on the donations of loyal followers, which make them very wealthy men.)

Our freedom in this country was earned with the blood of patriots who fought to throw off the British yoke, a part of which was religious dominance. We must be no less committed to preserving that freedom.

Glenwood Springs resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.

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