Well – the President has “evolved” on gay marriage. Actually – to quote Fox News analyst Brit Hume – the president has “revolved.”
Evidently, President Obama was for gay marriage in the 1990s. Then, when running for the US Senate in 2006 and as he ran for the presidency in 2008, he was against it. Now, in 2012, as he runs for president again, he is “personally” for it, but thinks it is a state issue. Yes – the times they are a’changin.
I frankly don’t mind this “evolution” on the part of the president. I have evolved on this issue as well. I was a seminarian in a place that opposes gay marriage. I was clergy in a denomination that forbids gay marriage and openly gay clergy. But, I have gone from being opposed to gay marriage to being for civil unions to a new belief on the issue.
For me, it comes down to the separation of church and state. Historically, marriage was a church function. Marriage was/is considered a sacrament in the Catholic Church and a sacred moment in most other religious places. The church set the rules. Then something changed. The state began to issue marriage licenses for the main purpose of restricting racial intermarriage. That of course changed - but the license remained. Now – it is simply a revenue stream.
So here’s my stance.
There ought to be a state-issued marriage license for those who do not want to be married in a religious way. Each state or locality could charge what they want and approve officiates as they see fit. The state would legislatively or by popular vote decide who can marry (basically as happens now).
There also ought to be an allowance for religious institutions to marry the people they want to marry. They currently set their own rules as to who officiates and how. So why shouldn’t they be able to choose who gets married too.
And – for the record – influenced by the love and commitment I know of in members of my family and within my circle of friends – I would be a member of a church that performed weddings for gay couples. In fact, I’d officiate them.
You can follow Charles Parker on Twitter @cpbrevard and on BlogTalkRadio from 6:30-7:00 pm Sunday evenings - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-charles-parker-show/2012/04/30/the-charles-parker-show