Why Marriage Matters

California is a long way from Alamance County–but two parent-members of PFLAG Alamance have posted this message about the significance of legal marriage in California.   If you would like to comment on this posting, email info@pflagalamance.org.  

“Why Marriage Matters– in California and Elsewhere

   “On June 17, 2008, they–two people very dear to us– were legally
married by the clerk of court because their church ceremony in 2005,
like all church weddings, was not a legal ceremony.  Most church
weddings are followed by the couple and their minister and witnesses
doing legal paperwork because everyone knows that the church wedding alone confers no legal rights.
    “Now that they are legally married, they can expect the same legal
rights as other married couples, i.e., the right to make medical
decisions for each other, the right to visit each other in the event
one of them is hospitalized, the right to inherit real property from
each other in the event of death, the right to joint parentage of any
children born to them.  Other rights too numerous to mention in this
short writing are theirs now–but only as long as they are in
California.  No other state in the USA is compelled to recognize their
marriage as a legal union.  Whether their marriage is called a marriage
or a civil union, it is legal only in California because theirs is a
same-sex marriage of two women who are committed to each other as life partners. 
    “Their commitment to each other and to any children either of them
should bear will not be legal in North Carolina, a state that would
recognize without question a heterosexual marriage certificate from any state in the country.  No matter how brilliantly they perform their
daily work in the professions they have chosen, no matter how kind they everyone they meet, no matter how dutifully they obey all the
other laws of NC, their marriage is not legal here–no matter how many
churches recognize their union.
    “Same-sex marriage is not about religious beliefs except in the sense that religious beliefs–notably Christian ones–espouse the Golden Rule to treat others as we would wish them to treat us.  Same-sex marriage is about civil rights and social justice-allowing all people to choose their life partners and conferring on that choice equal rights and responsibilities for all couples.”

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