Same-sex couples might restore shine to tarnished institution

The reputation of marriage is being ruined by a small group of people.  It’s already on shaky ground when you consider that one-half of all marriages end up in divorce.

Michael Stark, left, and Michael Leshner

    Michael Stark, left, and Michael Leshner

But even those doomed marriages begin with good intentions. They start with love in their hearts but infidelity, infirmity, and incompatibility take their toll. Despite solemn vows in which they publicly declare they will “have and hold each other until death do them part,” they end up divorced.

No, it’s not those men and women who are ruining marriage even though they will eventually fail at it.  Rather, it’s those who start off with bad intentions that are doing the most damage.

Consider, for example, the debacle of 50 women assembled in the “wedding capital of the world,” Las Vegas, to win a brand-new multimillionaire husband that they have  never laid eyes upon before.

Their motivation was greed, not love.  They were eager to make a mockery of marriage for money on the TV show “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?”. Darva Conger, a nurse from Ventura, California, was the “winner” of this farce. She was happily married to comedian Rick Rockwell for a whole two weeks before the marriage was annulled.

“I’m a Christian woman. If I’m not married in a church with a preacher, I am not married before God, and I am not married in my heart,” said the hypocritical Conger as she grabbed the money and later posed for Playboy magazine.

Modern marriage is taken so lightly by many men and women it’s hard to understand how some religious groups and political parties are so infuriated by the prospect of same-sex marriages.

Same-sex marriages may actually improve the reputation of marriage, if the first couple under Ontario’s new law is any indication.  Michael Leshner and Michael Stark tied the knot as soon as they legally could.  Michael and Michael had been preparing for this day for years.  It was a modest ceremony with 50 people in attendance.  The groom and groom wore the same dark suits and white shirts with ties.  “When we get married, we will have lit a match that hopefully illuminates the world,” said Lesher, as they toasted their marriage with champagne on the steps of the church.

Marriage is a cornerstone of our society.  It provides social stability with a public declaration of the love that two people have for each other.  Marriage should not be entered into greedily or frivolously.

Marriage can also be a declaration before God -a vow taken to adhere to the tenets of religion.  Religious practitioners object to same-sex marriages because they say that homosexuality is a sin.  They say that the Bible is quite clear about it. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (Leviticus 18:22).

But same-sex couples can have strong religious views and apparently they read the same Bible.  One explanation for this difference of opinion is that there are actually quite a few “abominations” in old testament that modern Christians regard as unimportant – – such as the eating of eels and ospreys and sacrificed animals after the third day.  In that light, homosexuality is not a sin at all.

For some Christians, there is no religious basis for objecting to same-sex marriages.  “In Sunday school, I was taught that God created everything and loves his children, no matter what,” says Nicole Matus (The Daily News, July 10).  Matus argues that same-sex marriages must please God because he created people that way.

She also has some trouble with the evil of heterosexual couples who “starve their children, beat them to death, and sell them to prostitution rings.”   While the religious objection to same-sex marriages are misguided, at least they are understandable.

What’s puzzling are the political objections raised by the Canadian Alliance Party.  They lamely argue that parliament should have debated same-sex marriages instead of letting the Supreme Court of Ontario decide.

To test the Alliance’s argument, substitute “gun control” for “same sex marriage.”  The Alliance wishes that the Supreme Court would rule that gun control is unconstitutional so that parliament would rescind it. Parliament debated and approved gun control.

If all heterosexual couples went through the same scrutiny as same-sex couples, marriage might have a better reputation.  Where is the outrage at the damage to marriage caused by opposite-sex marriage?

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