Marriage

“Indeed, it is a fact that all you need to get married would be another person, a trip to a courthouse, a witness, and a signed document. When people get married in a church, it isn’t recognized by the government without the legal documentation.”  Attorney Mary Bonauto said this in response to a question posed by Chief Justice John Roberts during the first days of the hearings before the court.  I think this summarizes a great deal of what get lost in translation when it comes to the idea of marriage vs. the modern day act.  The idea of marriage.  You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  They say yes!  The ring!  Book the church (or desired location)!  The dress (or suit)!  The cake!  The invitations!  Oh, all the planning!  What are we going to do?!  Oh my!  It’s the windswept idea of marriage that excites everyone involved.  The most grandiose public display of affection legally allowed.  And what have we done with it?  Reduced it to paperwork.  Now, another scenario:  You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  They say yes!  OK, let’s get to the courthouse before it closes!  Do we have a witness?  Hey, janitor, can you come here real quick?  OK, that was easy!  Now what?!  Now, there are many reasons why someone might not want the big, traditional wedding.  It’s just that when the word is floated around, people get the big idea of it.  My issue with the ruling today is not its substance, but its existence.  The Supreme Court is charged with upholding the law of the land, and in cases of uncertainty, interpreting and reinforcing that law in line with the constitution.  I think the court overreached its authority today.  States are still debating this issue, and for the court to end that debate and stop the democratic process from happening, they have also stopped the natural progression of people transitioning their thinking of marriage.  There are many people who will never see it that way.  However, that is their right.  What happens now, when a gay couple are refused service by a wedding caterer because of their beliefs?  Both are now constitutionally protected, but who is right, and who is wrong?  Why should the caterer be punished for their beliefs?  Why should the couple be denied service?  In making their decision today, the court has damaged the country’s ability to come to a clear answer on this, and the outcome is that no one wins.  I sincerely hope and wish everyone affected by today’s ruling well, and if it means you can have a better life with the one you love, I wish you nothing but the best.  In closing, I do think this would have been the outcome for the country.  The direction we’ve been headed in for many years proves it would have only been a matter of time.  But anytime we freely hand over our right to decide anything to the government, it ceases to become that grandiose idea, like marriage, that we all hold so dear in our hearts and minds.

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