Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gay rights are religious rights

Today is National Coming Out Day. Last year, I wrote about gay rights as relational rights. This year, I'd like to talk about how gay rights are religious rights.

Gay rights, yes, are civil rights, and are amply justified in the Constitution under "equal protection," not to mention "pursuit of happiness." But we tend to bury the fact that religious liberty is also at stake.

The entire notion that there's something wrong with being gay, something unacceptable, is a religious one. It's based in the Bible or the Koran or some other bookish thingy. So why should those who do not follow those books be bound by their laws?

There is lots of room for gay people, and indeed for gay marriage, in most Pagan religions. As a Wiccan Priestess, I would be happy to perform a handfasting (marriage) ceremony for a gay couple. But while I can perform such a ceremony for a straight couple and have it legally recognized, the same-sex handfasting cannot be recognized. Since they are equal in the eyes of my religion, isn't that State interference with religion?

You'll see them say it. You'll see them say marriage is "sacred." If it's sacred, it belongs to religion and religion alone; keep the State out of it. If it's not sacred, if it's civil, then everyone should have an equal shot at it.

(Flamboyantly cross-posted)