Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Should I be allowed to marry?

Just back from a much-needed vacation. And per hearing the Religious Right Wing of the USA voice their reasons for being against gay marriage, per the state government vote in New York state, I have a question for those people:

I'm an Atheist, my husband is an Atheist, and we decided not to have children. Therefore, by your definition of marriage, should we have been allowed to marry?

The answer, based on what I'm hearing from you - that marriage is a sacrament of God and its purpose is to have children - must be a resounding NO. You folks saying gay marriage is impossible cannot believe an Atheist should have the right to get married, nor that someone who has chosen not to have children should have the right to get married, based on your arguments against gay marriage.

So, why did I get married? It wasn't to have any government sanction of my love for the man who is now my husband, and my lifelong commitment to him - I don't need any certificate to show that. I got married because:
  • if I'm in the hospital, I want my husband to be able to be with me, and if he's in the hospital, I want full access to him as well. Going with a health care proxy will NOT grant me access to him, or him to me, in all circumstances, unlike being married.
  • if I get great health care coverage, I want him to get that coverage as well (and vice versa!)
  • if I am unable to make decisions for myself, I want my family - and that's my husband - to make those decisions for me
  • if I die, I want him to have all my stuff and do with it what I want, because I know he'll follow my last wishes, because I trust him, because he is my family
  • I want to legally be responsible for him, and him for me, in the eyes of the law
  • if he wins the lottery, I want half!
That's what gay people want as well as married couples. Indeed, many of them also want the right to have or adopt children as well, as married parents - they see marriage as you religious folks do, as something that greatly contributes to the raising of happy, healthy children.

How can a religious person say gays should not be allowed to get married without also saying Atheists who are not going to have children should not be allowed to get married? There's no way to deny it to gays without also denying it to Atheists, based on your own arguments!

And Atheists - that should freakin' scare the hell out of you.

On a final note: why did I not only have the official, secular state marriage procedure, but also have a Godless marriage ceremony for family and friends? Because I wanted to celebrate my marriage with the people I love, to celebrate our friends for loving us and supporting us. And we drank a LOT of wine at our wedding - just like Jesus.

(for those of you looking for marriage vow ideas for your secular wedding ceremony, contact me - I'm happy to share ours)


  1. Easy: it's not about God, or children, or "natural law" or any of that. It's about the ick factor of two dudes having buttsecks.

    But you can't just come out and say that, I guess.

  2. If you mean that the reality is that people who are opposed to gay marriage are doing this more because they are disgusted at the idea of male-on-male sex than religious reasons, indeed, you are probably correct.

    But for the sake of argument, I would REALLY love for one of them to respond and, using their own public argument against gay marriage, say why, or why not, Atheists who don't want to have children should be allowed to be married.

  3. You know, I was just talking to a bunch of Catholics about this, and asked them this exact same question - if I, an atheist, decide to get married with no plan to have children, how am I any different from a gay couple that wants to get married? - and they told me that basically, we're no different. In a way, it's nice at least that they're consistent up to a point (try asking them if they want to add a requirement to marriage laws that children be produced, though, and you get a lot of wacky half-answers), but it is a bit scary. Tell them all this - that you got married for the rights, and that in a legal context their personal definitions of marriage are inconsequential - and it starts to seem that they can't quite divorce (hah!) their religious beliefs about marriage and sexuality from what the law quite clearly does and doesn't say.

  4. Great post! I would really like to hear an answer to that as well. I think if I asked my religious relatives, they would probably come up with some bullshit logic hoop-jumping, or the crazier ones might even argue that we shouldn't be allowed to.

    I also think I'd like to take you up on your wedding vow offer. My fiancé and I are both atheists, and plan to have a secular wedding. I've done a bit of research, but am kind of at a loss of what to say, and am not sure how much godlessness to include. My email is godlesslagomorph (at) me (dot) com. Thanks :)

  5. If they wanted to protect marriage, if that were their purpose, then they would want constitutional amendments against divorce. It's not. It's the buttsecks and the muff diving and the strap ons that turn them on so much that it should be illegal and punished by misery.

  6. Thanks, everyone, for the thoughtful replies! And thanks to The Friendly Atheist for the link!