On Oct. 2, two writers to The Sun published articles supporting their position against Question 6, the ballot measure dealing with same-sex marriage ("Catholic on marriage equality: Right sentiment, wrong conclusion" and "Opposing gay marriage: It's not about hate").
As someone who was educated for 16 years in Roman Catholic schools, I feel strongly that the very foundation of their arguments, the definition of traditional marriage, is a myth.
First, traditionally marriage was not between one man and one woman. It was one man and multiple women.
Second, traditionally marriages were not based in loving relationships between a man and woman but were arranged affairs usually connected to property rights.
Third, one of the writers, Eric Lee, posits that men and women are equal. That may be the case in the latter part of the 20th century and now in the 21st century, but it certainly was not the case in traditional marriages. Women were considered the property of their husbands and were not allowed to own property. Husbands were even allowed to beat their wives to ensure they would obey their husband.
Fourth, up to the 1960s it was illegal for individuals of different races to marry. The argument for these laws was the protection of traditional marriage. Is this the same traditional marriage that these writers support?
Mr. Lee's makes the analogy of the vegetarian restaurant owner adding meat to his menu but still calling his place of business vegetarian. It is that individual's right to define his business any way he wishes. If Mr. Lee does not like it he can simply take his patronage elsewhere. The Marriage Equality Act does not force any church or individual to accept marriages between gays and lesbians. The act does in fact remove them from second class citizenship and acknowledges their right to be in a loving committed relationship and have the same legal protections as all other citizens.
Mr. Lee states that there is no hate in his heart for gays and lesbians. That may very well be the truth. Only Mr. Lee knows. However the point that Mr. Lee avoids in his flowery language is the fact that he argues for and promotes second class citizenship for gays and lesbians. By relegating human beings to second class citizens, Mr. Lee establishes that it is quite all right to discriminate against them and that in turn legitimizes a hateful attitude toward the population being discriminated against. So even if Mr. Lee does not hate gays and lesbians, he certainly is working to create an environment where it is OK to hate people for their sexual orientation.
In fact on two occasions he uses the word good or goodness to define his "traditional" marriage. And although he does not state it directly, the opposite of good and goodness is evil or evil-ness. Therefore his position is one that a union between loving gays and lesbians is in and of itself an evil act. Defining someone's actions as evil is as close to hating them as one can get without using the word hate.
A letter writer, Stanley J. Glinka, supports the civil union for gays and lesbians. So I do not understand his lack of support for Question 6. The law does not force any church to marry gays and lesbians. It is up to the congregation and minister whether they will treat gays and lesbians as they would want to be treated themselves.
Michael SeippCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun