I see this as a “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” situation. Will my church change its stance that marriage is between a man and a woman? Probably not (though in 1890 it certainly changed to that stance). Do I care? Not really. Will I leave my church because they won’t change? Well, if my entire faith hinged on the issue of marriage equality alone, I would argue that I have bigger faith problems to wrangle. So no. Besides, I’ve tried leaving my church more than once, and it doesn’t stick, so I’m in it for the long haul.
I’ve wanted to be married since I was five years old. I’ve been in love more times than I probably should have been. I get the importance of marriage. That message has been received so loud and clear that, at 20 years old and legitimately terrified that I would never marry, I got engaged to a (non-LDS) man who beat me. That message has been received so loud and clear that sometimes, in very dark moments, I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off if I had stayed with him, because at least I’d be married.
So I have a decent understanding of how deeply emotions run when it comes to marriage. And I know that my friends are split on today’s Supreme Court decision making marriage equality the law of the land. I’ve been largely silent on this issue, and consider this post the only time I will talk about it.
Don’t tell me that marriage is for man and woman to raise a family . . . because you are telling me that I will never be married, as I will never have the chance to raise a family.
Don’t tell me marriage equality will ruin the entire institution of marriage . . . until the divorce rate is down to at least 30%.
Don’t tell me about the sanctity of marriage . . . until “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” and shows of its ilk are off the air.
Don’t tell me about how marriage is a sacrament . . . until the average cost of a wedding is a fraction of the current $26,000 and “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Bridezillas” are relics of a past we’d rather forget.
Don’t tell me how marriage isn’t the government’s business in the first place . . . until I have more equal financial footing as a single woman as any married person does. In fact, I should be mildly enraged that gays can marry, as it will give them more financial benefit, possibly placing more financial strain on me and my single friends.
Am I happy for my LGBT friends and students? Yes. Because building a life with someone you love is such a basic human instinct, one that I have not been lucky enough to experience, and with each birthday, I have to accept a little bit more that I will never experience it. The pain of that realization is visceral at times, and I can’t imagine forcing that pain upon anyone, for any reason.
Love should always win. Not just when it comes to the act of marriage equality, but when it comes to how we treat each other and speak to each other about it. Love should always win.