A straight female friend emailed:
I enjoyed reading your blog on marriage, but it always makes me sad and guilty to know that Tom and I can be married while other couples, just as committed, are being excluded due to bigotry.
You are right on about church/state. I believe that marriage is a civil liberty and the government cannot limit that civil liberty to straight couples. Everyone should be allowed a civil marriage. What the churches want to endorse privately is another matter. If we had a system of civil marriage and church marriage, personally I would not get a church marriage in a church that did not permit gays to marry. How Christian is that to arbitrarily excluding a segment of the congregation from receiving a sacrament? I digress…
The really sad part is explaining this to the kids. I always tell them that your are Fr John’s* husband and vice versa. I do this, not to hide the injustice of the situation, but so that they don’t grow up thinking that “straight” people are more committed than gay people are. Sooner or later I guess I will have to explain the legal facts, although I wish this nation would quickly stop the hypocrisy and institute civil marriage so I don’t have to.
Another straight friend emailed:
And there are so many of us who don’t see what harm allowing people who love each to marry can bring. What amazes me is the “family values” excuse: Two people love each other and want to be a family, maybe even to bring children into that family — and a group of clueless people say this is a harm to family values … Family values are what people who want to get married have. Family values are what people who want to bring children into their lives have. Family values are not a gay or straight prerogative; they have to do with families. WHY this is so threatening to some people is amazing.
*John is an Episcopal priest.