Religious Pluralism and Civil Rights

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Gail Hughes
Religious Pluralism and Civil Rights

Before I start writing about what's on my mind, I'd like to commend Kat for creating this forum. I very much appreciate your goals and think that on-line communities are effective in fostering and nurturing the sort of dialogue that a progressive religious faith espouses.

I am responding to something I saw recently about a federal marriage amendment being proposed in the US. Particularly, I was reading about an objection to such an amendment on the basis that it violates Constitutional separation of church and state. I agree, wholeheartedly. I honestly don't understand how or why the marriage of two individuals that love each other represents a threat to anyone else's marriage or the sanctity of the institution more broadly. Personally, I think that couples, churches and communities would do better to focus their attention on the divorce rate and the number (or rather quality) of existing families, with numerous disfuntional and unresolved issues and a refusal to try to communicate about and deal with feelings and problems happening in relationships. That being said, in a spirit of respect for others' religious beliefs, if a person or group feels that the sanctity of marriage is being harmed by allowing gay marriage, it is their choice to go to a church that doesn't marry gay people. But in a country that allows and respects diverse religious views, noone has the right to restrict the civil liberties of others and, I would think, least of all in dictating to people who they can love and choose to spend their life with.

Lastly, while I feel strongly about this matter, I am also hesitant to label myself as a member of the "religious left" as that divides me from other people of faith. I sincerely feel that we have as much that we can explore in our sameness as we do in our differences. That could be evidenced by the diversity of religious leadership and constituency represented at recent rallies for immigrants rights and Darfur in DC.

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