Okay, it's time for another installment of Sandra's If Two Cents Could Buy Real Change.
Unlike several of my Facebook friends, I am not at all surprised by the large number of people on my friends list who oppose marriage equality. I am also not at all surprised that nearly every one of those people is from Albany, Georgia. Intolerance and hypocrisy seem to be a way of life in The South.
In my opinion, the reason so many people disagree about marriage equality is because it isn't clearly defined in this country as either a religious union or a legal union.
For those that oppose the rights of same-sex couples to form a civil union because of YOUR religious beliefs, I scoff at you. In addition to the fact that your religious beliefs have nothing to do with the legal rights of others, I can almost guarantee that you don't live your life strictly by The Bible. Quit expecting others to. No one is asking you to marry someone of the same sex; same-sex couples are merely asking for the same legal rights that you have.
For those of you that claim your marriage beliefs stem from your beliefs on the welfare of children and the preservation of traditional marriage, I scoff at you too. In addition to the fact that "traditional" marriage has not been a tradition in this country for quite some time now, studies have shown that children of same-sex couples fare as well as or better than children raised in heterosexual families. The American Academy of Pediatrics even endorses same-sex parenting. Furthermore, how many healthy, heterosexual, two-parent families do you actually know? Nearly half of American parents are either divorced or never married, not to mention the teen parents currently raising children (and acceptably so by society's standards, thanks to shows like Teen Mom and Sixteen and Pregnant). Are you really going to argue that those children are better off than children raised in a family with two consenting, loving parents? Why not make it illegal for minors to have children if you're so worried about the kids? Because it violates constitutional rights. Do you have any idea how many foster children and orphans are now out of state systems and no longer supported by tax dollars and understaffed social services offices because they were adopted by same-sex couples that love and provide for them? Over 65,000. If you think that your child will be damaged by being friends with a child who is being raised by a same-sex couple, stop and think about what witnessing your hate and intolerance is doing to your child, as opposed to a child who is raised to see everyone and every family equally.
And lastly, to those of you who rally that the government should stay out of marriage entirely, good luck. Marriage and civil unions equal dollar signs to the government. The government isn't going to stay out of anything that brings in money.