Kit: My sister was having a brief discussion on gay marriage, and a lot of us have our own views on the subject. It is something we feel strongly about, though not for the normal reasons most people would present. To be honest, we do believe that everyone should have the same rights for marriage, but that's not really what gets under our skin.
Some people consider marriage to be a religious tradition. While yes, it is in fact connected to religion, the reason for marriage, and the traditions behind it, have varied over the centuries. From the bonding of families, to the transferal of 'goods', to the creation of treaties, to creating an indentured servant, marriage has come a long way. It wasn't about love, or God, when it first started, and having it be about love rather than duty is a very recent phenomenon.
That marriage is now partially in the hands of the government muddies things up a bit. The entire idea of 'civil union' is essentially taking away the religious aspects of marriage. Hey, we're fine with that. But some people still think it that this is an affront to God.
Shawn: Yeah? Well, the right of your Christian sensibilities ends at the right of my Pagan indifference. "Christian Nation" or not, keep your shit out of the government. I don't care what any religion says on this matter, Christian or not, you've got no place spouting religious views to try to dictate law in the courts. You wanna make a good argument, grab some historical fact, and use that as your weapons of war.
Samantha: On top of that, religion isn't a defence, anyway. There are deeply religious folk who still want to marry their same-sex partner. That leaves you with an awkward choice -- do you bar them from having a religious ceremony to celebrate marriage? On what grounds?
Mark: This is where there's a lot of hypocrisy. You have some religious groups who say they support the gays and lesbians in their community -- but draw the line at marriage because they consider it sinful. Are these people a part of your religious community, or not? If so, then they get the benefits of the religion. If not, then tell them this. Here in Canada, no church is forced to marry anyone they do not wish to, but there are those churches who will marry gay or lesbian couples, and that's fine. Make that a choice of the individual church.
Shawn: Before I climb onto my soapbox I want to say something here. I'm not anti-Christian. I know some perfectly sane, reasonable Christians. I'm anti-religious asshole. Those are a dime a dozen and can be found all over the map.
Samantha had brought up the entire Muslim problem that's creeped into Canada recently, and I've got a bit to say about that too. Welcome to Canada. This is not a Muslim Nation. This is not a Christian Nation. This is Canada.
While you're staying in Canada, please understand you've got the right to worship Allah all you like. However, while here, please note that if there's any conflict between the laws of the Koran and the laws of our fair nation, our laws trump yours. While you may decide to hold 'Muslim Court' to settle disputes, if they come into conflict with Canadian law, our law wins. And before you drag your relatives before your religious superior because they're doing something you don't agree with, do note that they have the right to settle this in our courts before and instead of having it brought before the pillar of your religious community. Not informing them they have this choice, or worse yet forcing them before your religious figurehead, is wrong.
Kit: This applies to any religion, really. Any religious laws don't trump Canada's laws, or America's laws, or whatever.
Samantha: Religion is about spiritual betterment. Walking a higher road to become a better person. It is not about enforcing your will on others, or trying to dictate what other people should think, or feel, or do. You can offer your insight and advice, but it is up to these people to decide what path they should take.
Shawn: That's 'offer', not 'shout' or 'enforce' or 'demand' or 'tell'. If I don't want to hear it, don't shove it down my throat, asshole.
Kit: Actually, moving away from the religious topic, what about secular? There are some people who just don't feel comfortable about this, without religion coming into it.
Mark: Doubtful, but for the sake of argument, they don't have a leg to stand on. In Canada and in the US, 'equality' is encoded into the books. Denying anyone these rights on secular grounds is a dead end. That's why gay marriage is legal in Canada -- our Charter had this covered.
Shawn: Anyone who says they're against gay marriage and don't have a religious agenda is either a politician, or lying. Which is redundant.
Samantha: Not true. My friend is fine with civil unions, but isn't really comfortable with an actual marriage. I don't think it is for religious reasons, I think it is more because from their view, if you're doing this on the secular side of things, then a secular marriage (a civil union) should be enough. The second you go for the whole church and minister thing, you're pulling into religious territory, and you're going to upset a lot of people -- and that's what he's opposed to. I can see that aspect of it and understand it. I don't agree with it, but I can understand it.
Shawn: People are always going to get upset. Big deal. This isn't about whether or not people are going to get upset about it, this is whether or not it is the right thing to do. Your church doesn't like it? Then they can go to another church.