With the issue of gay marriage taking over the news this week, I have watched my Facebook feed turn to a blur of red avatars. I understand why — it's a monumental decision. But I wonder if there isn't a simpler solution that might make everyone happy.

For the past three days my Facebook newsfeed has been a sea of red equal signs. It has been nearly impossible for me to tell who is posting what, simply because everyone has the same avatar. I understand why. The issue before the Supreme Court this week is monumental, and one that has the potential for enormous change here in our country: the issue of gay marriage. It is a polarizing issue, and one advocate feels compelled to scream public support for. "No H8!" and "Marriage equality for all!" has been shouted at me in all caps. I've remained relatively silent on this issue, mostly because I don't want the public lynching. You see, I hold the totally un-cool position of being against gay marriage.

Hear me out

Civil union away, gay folks.

Now, before you start Googling my home address and lighting your torches, my position is much more nuanced then those three words. I actually take little issue with same-sex civil unions being recognized legally, and frankly I don't feel the government needs to be all that involved. If two dudes (or two chicks) want to apply for a license, pay the money, buy the white dress (or dresses, or tuxes or whatever), then far be it from me (or the federal government) to tell them they can't. Legally? I don't care one way or the other. Civil union away, gay folks.

Why I oppose gay marriage

Philosophically however, gay marriage is a whole different issue to me. I am Catholic. I follow Catholic doctrine and believe Church teachings. I wasn't raised Catholic — I just converted in 2011 — and the journey that led me to God and this religion was long, researched and prayerful. I mention this because there is this overwhelming belief that Catholics are lemmings, blindly following what they have been taught since infancy. I came to Catholicism as an adult, only after considering all Christian religions and deciding the Catholic Church's unbroken apostolic teachings were the most authentic.

Their bodies do not have the capability to work together towards the common task of procreation. For me the issue is just that simple.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, marriage is "the lifelong partnership... between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children." It is one of the seven holy sacraments, and the only sacrament entered into with another person. It exists essentially for two reasons — as a visible expression of God's love for us, visible daily in the love between husband and wife, and to allow spouses to receive the supreme gift of marriage, a true expression of their love, a child. That's it. Because of this definition, gay couples cannot be married. Their bodies do not have the capability to work together towards the common task of procreation. For me the issue is just that simple.

Gay marriage doesn't threaten my marriage

I won't be upset if the Supreme Court legalizes gay "marriage." I won't feel threatened, as though my entire way of life is at stake. My truth is still my truth, marriage will still hold the same definition to me and a government decision won't change that in any way. I do have two concerns though: I don't want to see the Catholic Church forced to perform (or even recognize) the ceremony. Within the church there are several levels of marriage, and I don't want to see a legal civil union raised to the level of a "valid” or "sacramental" Catholic marriage.

...Religious freedom would be at stake.

And I'm curious how some insurance issues would be handled. If a married gay person was employed by the Catholic Church, I'm assuming their spouse would legally have to be covered (unless all spouses were excluded). With that coverage, would it also apply to paying for non-traditional methods of achieving pregnancy (which the Church opposes)? Current trends with the recent HHS mandate imply that it would, in the same way that the Church is being required to provide birth control and abortion coverage. If that is the case, then religious freedom would be at stake.

Having said all of that, I have two sons. One (or both) may very well grow up to be gay. If they are, I will still love them as perfectly and as passionately as I do now. If they were to find love and want to marry, I imagine I would want them to have that ability legally. But for now, I'll leave my profile pic as it is: a picture of the love exchanged between my husband and I, and not a big red equal sign.

Read it!^

Don't miss the other side of the discussion >>

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Emily Horne April 02, 2013
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I am so very confused by this issue. I do not feel like I have any right to oppose someone's choice to a same sex marriage, but then I keep hearing about issues that would arise for different churches and I do not know if they are real issues or made up. There has to be some middle ground where people aren't stepping on each others toes, right?
Diane Ducote March 31, 2013
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Is there a line you will not cross? This is the question progressives will never answer. Is "gay marriage" the line? What happens next year when polyamorist say hey, we're together, we're partners we want "poly marriage", or a woman loves her dog can she marry him? Dog have rights too. Or the guy who truly loves the little boy next door. Where is the line? Where is your "intolerance" line?
Angela Amman March 29, 2013
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Well, since I wrote the opposing side argument, it's pretty obvious where I stand.

I am also Catholic. I don't understand, at all, the worry that the church would be forced to sanctify a gay marriage. Catholic communities turn straight couples away for various reasons, including being divorced. The church's stance doesn't have to change at all, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides.

Using procreation as a benchmark for marriage is also confusing to me, because I don't see people stating older heterosexuals shouldn't marry (past fertility age).

I absolutely respect your religious opposition to gay marriage - within the church. However, I don't see what that has to do with the government.
Ami Burns March 29, 2013
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So what about heterosexual, married couples who are infertile? *Their* bodies do not have the capability to work together towards the common task of procreation...this argument doesn't make sense.
Maureen Wallace March 29, 2013
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I'm Catholic. And I'm pro-choice. I'm also pro-equality. The God I believe in does not and would not discriminate. My differing views from the Catholic church don't make me less Catholic. They make me more compassionate.
Harmony Riefle March 29, 2013
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Civil unions do not hold the same legal rights/protection/universal law as marriage does. Marriage here or anywhere in the world is just that, marriage. Civil unions and their laws change and vary differently between states/countries and even counties. Separate but equal? Hmm where in American history have we seen this concept fail?

Religious views or not, YOUR religion doesn't dictate the world, so to force someone to not have the same human rights as you do because of your religion is horrific. Even within the Christian faith there are hundreds of different branches, sects, titles that have different rules/regulations and interpretations of the faith. So to try to force people to follow laws based on one small part of a religion group within a religion within a faith is not fair and more importantly, it's un-godlike to deny, condemn or judge anyone. That's God's job, not yours or our government. The issue of 'gay marriage' shouldn't have been an issue to begin with. Two considering adults wish to marry and be protected by the rights and privileges of the legal contract of MARRIAGE. Why is that an issue?

I'm glad I live in 2013. I would hate to have been back in the day fighting to marry the man I love, just because he happens to be white and I'm black... I hope before I die, this part of our history is in books and moved past. Last time I checked, being homosexual doesn't make you non-human, it just makes you gay and therefore still entitled to the same rights as everyone else.
Diane Ducote March 29, 2013
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Marriage was invented by the church and the definition cannot be changed by overreaching, dictatorial, bullies. Grab a Big Gulp and bone up on Orwell. 2+2 can never equal 5 no matter how many times you repeat the lie. If the argument is about inheritance or hospital visitations, blame big government for interfering in those cases they do it for the money.
Monica Beyer March 29, 2013
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Agree with Maria. Hands down. Not everyone in this country shares the same religion -- why should religion dictate marriage laws?
Melinda Smith March 28, 2013
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I am married to a man. We were married in a garden with no mention of god in the ceremony (because we are both atheists.) Curious your thoughts on our marriage - should we not have the legal status of marriage but rather a civil union? Or, in your opinion, is it okay because our bodies are capable of producing children together. I'm not being patronizing, I seriously want to understand the other side of the argument.
Maria Mora March 28, 2013
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I respect your way with words here, but this is exactly why I'm glad for an increasing separation between church and state. Religious doctrine shouldn't define marriage in my opinion. :)