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Jerry E. Clark

Notes On Who You May Love...
Thinking Things Over
By Jerry E. Clark
June 26, 2015 - I have listened closely to the arguments for and against the concept of gay marriage since the topic became a "hot issue" over the course of the past couple of years.

I understand the objection of many deeply religious people, who wish to maintain a strict adherence to the accepted norm of traditional marriage: the union of one man and one woman. I also have some sympathy for those who object to the Supreme Court taking on a question which some constitutional scholars maintain should be (and always has) the purview of the many states.

After the Supreme Court officially legalized same sex marriage on Friday, the thought occurred to me that for millions, the issue isn't closed. I hope that for most, however, it is over. In my view, we have far more important critical questions to address on a national basis. I'd like us all to put this particular issue behind us.

Many older Americans will recall that there were once laws in several states which made inter-racial marriage illegal. I remember growing up and trying to understand who would be the person or entity that would determine if one of those who wished to marry was black or any other 'race' that might cause an official objection to the union. As we all know, these kinds of legal restrictions were just nonsense to begin with, outrageous in the best case, and we created by numbskulls in an attempt to preserve the 'old order.'

With traditional marriage suffering from high divorce rates, in some places even exceeding 50%, it seems odd indeed for some to take the view that preventing those who happened to love another - despite their sexual preference - from marrying and sharing their lives also was nonsense.

Allowing something doesn't mean that you support it or wish to promote it. It merely means that you respect the rights of others to conduct their personal lives as they see fit, as long as their actions to do negatively affect those around them in some objective manner.

It used to be illegal to be gay. It no longer is. Performing gay sex acts remains a potential felony in Virginia for example. There are other examples of the state having laws on its books that either make no sense or are obviously the product of a religious teaching.

I suspect we'll all look back on this issue with about the same shrug as we now think of the concept of separate bathrooms for blacks and whites or dumb restrictions for some civic club memberships.

We have many far more important issues which challenge our society at the present time. Trying to restrict the personal lives of Americans just isn't one of them.

I hope this court decision does not end up causing more societal rifts between those who are religious and those who are not. We need to continue to respect the religious beliefs of all Americans, but not allow those beliefs to negatively impact those who have chosen a different road to follow in life.


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