Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance and On Faith panelist, is calling for a new national discussion on marriage based on the premise that "Law, not scripture, is the foundation of government regulations related to marriage in our nation." He notes that in its recent affirmation of same-gender marriage, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled: "Civil marriage must be judged under our constitutional standards of equal protection and not under religious doctrines or the religious views of individuals."
What is marriage? Is it a sacred rite or a civil right? What role, if any, should religious institutions, traditions or beliefs have in the legal act of marriage?
Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham on July 29, 2009 3:11 AM
Government should not discriminate in sanctifying marriages, including those between same-sex couples; religious denominations and faiths should be free to as they see fit in accordance with their faith.
Posted by David Saperstein, on August 3, 2009 6:53 PM
I don't believe the state has any business telling us who we should love or how. As a Pagan, I see marriage as one option for nurturing relationships--but not the only option. And I don't want another religion's values to define it for me.
I did not take vows in a church or temple, and my vows were taken in the names of several Gods. Would my evangelical Christian friends consider that a legitimate marriage? Who really does have the right to define what is a "marriage" or a "civil union?"
The State should not tell religious institutions who they should welcome, but not to welcome all of God's people violates everything I know about God and I would have no desire to be part of a discriminating religious body.
Posted by John Shelby Spong, on July 28, 2009 9:16 PM
If government officials and religious leaders distinguished the differences between legal marriage and religious marriage, they could greatly reduce the amount of conflict in public discussions on same-gender marriage.