Sunday, July 16, 2006

Marriage and the First Amendment

Even though this has been posted a few weeks already at The Elitest Pig, I just came across this article on same-sex marriage recently. Quoting from the column by Dave Nalle:
In all this talk about a Defense of Marriage Amendment our legislators seem to have missed the fact that we already have an amendment which defends marriage, the First Amendment. It clearly defends marriage as a sacrement of the church and declares it to be free from government interference when it says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

If my religion recognizes marriage as a sacrament and allows me to marry someone of the same gender, doesn't the First Amendment clearly say that Congress has no right to prohibit that exercise of religion and that I am free to practice that sacrament? To tell my church what it can and cannot define as a marriage seems like a total violation of this separation of church and state. Marriage isn't defined in the Constitution any more than Baptism or Confirmation is.
It's an interesting point. Of course, gays have been getting married in some churches for years. It is civil marriage—the one that shouldn't discriminate—that is still being denied to same-sex couples in 49 states and by the federal government.