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Letter to the editor: Banning gay marriage in state is a bad idea

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 12:01 am

This bill (HJR0015) before the Legislature of the state of Indiana will add an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. If the term “marriage” is the problem, call it a “civil union.” At least to me it is a plain and simple solution. That a compromise cannot in some people’s eyes be reached scares me.

The Supreme Court of the United States granted the rights of gay couples to have the same rights of heterosexual couples. It is the law of the land, so to speak. Now we have states that want to defy federal law and deny what could be called social justice, based on religious beliefs in a land that is based on separation of church and state. The question now is where will this lead to?

My answer to that question is further toward a “theocracy,” where separation of church and state becomes a union of religion and state. A clear violation of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …”

Therefore it would seem logical that to enact a law or an amendment based on religious beliefs and not the civil rights of the citizens would go against the basis of our nation. Our founding fathers based their design of this country on the freedom of the people, and now they want to select which people get the same rights as others based on an ethic held by some but not all.

The very issue of states’ rights vs. federal authority is what caused the Civil War. Where a segment of our society felt economically threatened and left the union to secure their economic stability even though it was ethically wrong, “slavery.”

I as a heterosexual pray I do not have to take up arms to defend my alternative lifestyle friends and family, but even being a pacifist I will. I would prefer both sides can find a compromise. It is a slippery slope we ride: Once a precedent is set what else could it affect? It took a hundred years to enact the civil rights of African-Americans. And now they want to deny the basic rights of individuals who choose to love who they love.

My question is, where will it end? If this bill passes and is put up for statewide referendum how long until they take my beer and rock and roll away? They (those who oppose same-sex unions) have stated they are the tools or works of the devil, prohibition and even comments about Elvis.

Please contact your people in the Statehouse and tell them it is a bad idea.

Michael J. Ward