The "right" to "marry"

In coming up with this post, my first goal was to explore the meaning of words and how we interpret, or sometimes misinterpret, words in the context of political debate. It seems odd, but the meaning of a word often determines court cases in the real world. My second goal when coming up with this post was to upset someone. If I don’t by the end of this post, I have no idea whether I succeeded or failed.

But my friends, readers, countrymen and haters (who will continue to hate, if the Internet is as trustworthy as I believe it is), the fact remains that the words we use in the context of gay marriage are wrong. Now, first, I need to find my Libertarian hat (not the Alex Jones tinfoil hat, which will be available at the end of the post) in order to make my point. The right to get married to anyone (or, as the Right likes to conclude, anything if the act is taken to it’s logical ends) extends to all who wish to get married. Where we get confused, more often than not, is when we discuss it as a civil right.

It’s not one. Sorry.

I firmly believe that the union of one person to another, regardless of race, creed, orientation, etc. is a basic human right. If someone finds a person who is special to them and wants to spend the rest of their life with that person in happiness and love, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t. But there is a problem. Even a heterosexual marriage isn’t a guaranteed right in the United States.  There are restrictions. You can’t be under 18 (without the consent of a parent or guardian). You can’t get married more than once at a time. You can’t get married to Fido over there. The government currently dictates the terms of marriage.

That leads us to the second word that perhaps we ought to glance at further.

Mawwaige. Mawwiage is what bwings us togeddar today (I am so sorry). The government’s control over who can be bound together isn’t the main argument. It’s the end game. The battle is over the word “marriage.”

The word is based in religion. Not just Christianity, but people have been married before their gods for thousands of years. It is the holy union between a man and a woman. For the courts to dictate the definition of a religious word is a clear violation of the First Amendment’s liberal translation, the Separation of Church and State. But, there is a secular option – the civil union. It can be just as viable an option and made (and I hope it is) to offer the same legal benefits as marriage. Why we can’t push for that is beyond me (but then again, so is algebra).

As an aside, I fabricated that bit about Alex Jones tinfoil hats being available at the end of this post. If you wanted one unironically, I don’t think we can be friends.

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