Happily Ever After – For ALL


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Anyone raised in this country  knows these words if they have had a  U.S. history course.  It is part of the Declaration of Independence and that line is one that most recognize.  But our founding fathers were not saying it  was just for those here,  but for ALL men everywhere.  Certainly it is important that we recognize that while pursuing happiness we cannot infringe on another persons, my rights end where their rights begin.  Exactly what happiness is can be defined a million different ways, it varies from person to person.  Today I am focusing on the pursuit of happiness as far as  one’s spouse is  concerned.

Marriage and who we chose to be married too is a very personal decision.  I respect that there are still  cultures  in which marriages are arranged, sometimes before  the births of the individuals to be wed, and while that is not to my liking it is not mine to impose  upon them what I feel is the proper  course  for finding one’s mate.  Cultures can change over time, and it is my hope that anyone being bound to another for life would be able to chose for themselves the one they believe makes them happy.

I have often wondered what it is that draws us to a particular person or persons.  Raised by the same parents, in the same household, under the same core beliefs,  two brothers or sisters will often be drawn to very different types of people.  I don’t believe it is driven by experiences as much as something within us in our individual make up drives our desires.  Raised on the same food in our growing up years I have an ice cream addiction, my sister can walk right past it, go figure.   While we will both tell you Trace Adkins is to die for sexy, that is where our similarities in taste end when it comes to men.  Yes our individual life experiences may influence some of our choices (you won’t catch me dating a fire fighter ever again) over all  I believe we are simply wired differently.   Born with certain desires, or under influence, it really doesn’t matter, our tastes and preferences vary.

Regardless of what your ideal is in a mate, I believe everyone has or should have the right, to chose that partner.  Two consenting adults of sound mind should not be denied the right to be legally wed to one another and have the laws protect that union.  It should not matter if they are of the same  nationality, skin color, or gender.   Yes I did say gender, but before you grab your bible and start preaching at me (I cannot hear  you anyway) or walk away, at least finish this with an open mind.

This weekend two beautiful women I know will be tying the knot, with each other.   While beautiful outside, I mean inside.  I have known one distantly as she grew up in the neighborhood, the other, her partner, for a few years now.  I often suspected that the one from my neighborhood was at the very least bi-sexual.  The other I only recently realized was more than just a best friend to this woman, that there was a reason they were always together and 90% of the photos of them they appear as a couple…because they are!  They are wonderful people that work hard, have big hearts and I think the world of them both.

Now before  I  go further a little background.  I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, and high tailed it out of there when I turned 18.  I have since attended a variety of Protestant and non-denominational churches over the years,  from charismatic to reformed Baptist.  Each has their own interpretation of the Bible and their own core beliefs and  not surprisingly a portion of those matters of faith are in strong opposition to each other.  One thing they all have in common is that they think they are correct in their  beliefs and everyone that doesn’t adhere to them is wrong.  I am,  for the record,  a firm believer in the Bible.  I won’t  argue  scripture with someone that doesn’t adhere to that one common thread, that it is in fact God’s  Word.  If you don’t happen to believe that it is in fact from God  then what is the point of discussion? The Bible was written TO THE CHURCH, the early believers of what it contains.  The laws, rules, guidelines, whatever you want to call  those scriptures are NOT written to mankind as a whole, it is for the church, those who believe and are bound by those beliefs.  I really wish those of faith would stop trying to enforce biblical principals  on those that do not believe what is written within it’s pages.  LOOK at the writings especially of the New Testament and you will see that it isn’t addressing the world, it is addressing those that follow Jesus Christ.   I happen to be a bible believing Christian, and within those pages it tells me to sweep in front of  my own door first.  I have a rather large amount of dirt of  my own to tend too and it will keep me busy until I stand in judgment in the here after.  And if you are reading this,  so do you.  If  someone is curious about my faith I will share it, but I’m not  knocking down your door  or telling you what you have to believe,  I very well may be way off base and when I die discover that I was all  wrong.  In life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that liberty part applies  to what I want to believe as far as God. This wonderful nation was founded on religious freedom, back off and practice  your faith, adhere to it  like you really mean it, if you do, but don’t impose it on anyone else. They have the same liberty as  you and chose to go another direction.  There is a separation of church and state,  it prevents any one faith from becoming the official church of the nation and from the church determining the laws of  this land, which is one of the very reasons our forefathers  left to come  here.  The churches have no place in influencing the laws, the Bible or book of Mormon or Koran, are  all written to  those specific  faiths, not the rest of the world.  Keep them within the your faith and stop trying  to dictate how the rest of us should live according to what your religious documents dictate for YOU.  The line says “we hold that we are all endowed with certain rights,  by  our creator”, it doesn’t say or  imply that one must believe in said creator to partake in those rights.

Back to these two women getting married.  What is sad to me is that, unless something has  changed that I am unaware of, their union will not be recognized by the laws here, and it should  be.  Their house, any future children,  all their ‘marital’ assets, should they ever terminate their union, should be just as protected by laws of divorce as my own.  My understanding is that they will have children, each giving birth to a child via  sperm donation.  Those children will be raised in a very loving home with two parents that will shower them with love and discipline.  BUT if  they would down the  road, like any heterosexual couple, terminate their  bond, those  children are not legally protected to see their  other parent, and that to me is just WRONG.  They should  each be legally parents to any children born of  their  mother’s union (and this applies to gay men  who adopt).  Should they divorce there  should be divorce laws that govern  the custody and visitation exactly as it  is done for ‘straight’ couples.  Religion should not be dictating the laws of marriage, or  personally held religious beliefs,  common sense on the other hand should be.  It is bad enough when a long term relationship ends, the  laws  need to protect both spouses regardless of gender preference.  It is time to afford equal rights to our gay brothers and sisters, who wish  to commit to their life partner in the form of marriage.

I hope the laws change, and soon, that will allow  for same sex unions so that all  people can be protected by law in their pursuit of life,  liberty and happiness, apart from any church’s beliefs outside  of  the individuals own place of worship.  I  am not for special rights, simple all about EQUAL rights for all parties.  Life is too short, and everyone deserves a shot at finding happily ever after, protected and secure, with  the one they love.

To L & L – I wish you both all the happiness in the world, may you truly live happily ever after!!

11 comments

  1. I will honestly say I will not personally judge anyone’s personal choice of sexual orientation. It’s not my place. I have many relatives and friends in that boat. Politics is what has made the WORD MARRIAGE so controversial. When they start throwing into proposed legislation that it will be taught in schools to children, that religions will be in violation of law if they won’t perform such rites, etc… That is where I say let them unite, but call it something else and keep legislation concerning sexual orientation out of the schools and churches. They can be united by churches that support them whole-heartedly… Freedom of religion and churches teaching according to the Bible should be honored, still. Yes, I am liberal in my acceptance of it, but it’s because I know so many wonderful people and they are all God’s children and they shouldn’t only be defined by that. They deserve happiness… However, it shouldn’t be at the EXPENSE of others. There are those in legislation trying to shove things down everyone’s throat, leaving a bad taste and causing more of an uprise. Why do they have to be SO EXTREME about it. Legislate it in a way that doesn’t change everything for everyone else… OK, I’m rambling now… shutting up… (((HUGS))) ;D

  2. Bravo Marti!

    Quite the enlightened attitude for a West-Sider and self professed Bible Thumper (I did hear you refer to yourself that way, didn’t I?). If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know how I feel about institutionalized religion (i.e., religion concerned about politics and power rather than spirituality) and mixing church and state (if not overtly, at least by implication).

    Marriage should be a legal contract between any two consenting adults (ANY TWO CONSENTING ADULTS). If the couple wishes to engage in a religious ceremony in addition to that legal union, it’s up to them, but the ceremony should have nothing to do with the legal contract (e.g., propert rights, inheritences, health insurance).

    A question though. Have you always seen things in this light or did the realization occur after you had escaped (or were about to escape) from the marriage cocoon? Just curious.

    Mick

    • Mick,
      I have felt this way for a number of years. The older I get the more open minded. I see it this way, I will have plenty to answer for and will only be held responsible for my transgressions. Others will answer for their own. Who am I to deny anyone the happiness of being bound to the person they most love. Life is short, way short, and if marrying the same gender gives them happiness, more power to them.

    • OMG I LOVE this! I will display it proudly and work on my 5, 2 of those match up with 2 on your list.

  3. Isn’t it a tenent of most organized religions that they go out and spread the word? Trying to change belief – recruit followers – and in some extremes, jihad against those who refuse to believe. The concept of not infringing upon belief is contrary to the ritual of offering testimony – which is designed to persuade others to follow your belief (enforcing biblical principles). Even Jesus had disciples who were to go out and spread the word and the 10 commandments do not leave room for anyone of different faith to believe in something other than that one God.

    I’m an agnostic – which in my interpretation means that everyone can be correct in whatever religion they follow. It simply means “I don’t know”. I don’t know if your beliefs are correct, neither do I know that mine are.

    Do I think government has any place in regulating a religious ceremony? NO. In fact, I think France has it right – you can have a religious ceremony if you want, but you have to have a civil one too for a legally binding partnership – no matter what sexual orientation you have. Everyone has to follow the same rules.

  4. Bravo Marty!
    According to our Constitution, everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law and that includes protection of their rights of property and child custody! I don’t care if you are straight, gay, bi or one-eyed, one-toed flying purple people eaters!… EVERYONE is entitled to equal protection under the law!

  5. I believe that “Marriage” should be between a man and a woman….however I believe that any two people should be able to form a “legal and civil union” where protection is afforded under the law for things such as health care decisions, property ownership, etc. There’s no denying that two humans that love and commit to each other can and should do so.

  6. Marti – While I do understand your intent here, I think you might be missing something. The idea of “marriage” has changed quite a bit from the time of Jesus Christ. Marriage today is simply a contract that binds two people legally. So, the “laws” don’t need to change in my opinion, it’s the attitude of the people getting married. If they want all the legal binds that getting married (in todays terms) affords, there are very easy ways to have that.

    In my opinion, if two people REALLY want to get married, then they quite simply commit to each other . Face it, even with the legal binds of marriage, one can simply walk out on another.

    Also, why is it illegal to get married? In the 1991 case of Edwards v O’Connor, the New Zealand court wrote:

    “A license is simply an authority or permission to do what is otherwise wrongful or illegal and in ordinary usage it extends to the document certifying or recording that the appropriate permission has been given by the competent authority.”

    Feel free to look it up for the US. In other words it says the same thing.

    • Darrin – agreed but when it comes to property and children of said union, things are way too fuzzy. I get that just because visitation is granted to heterosexual couples splitting isn’t always honored by one of the parents, there is legal recourse. To my knowledge the gay partner has no legal recourse when it comes to the children and seeing them, and that is wrong both for the parent and the child.

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