Posted by: NotAScientist | August 12, 2008

Gay Marriage = Atheist Marriage

I’m an overweight, caucasian, heterosexual male living in America.

And I think gay marriage is awesome.

Are you confused? Let me help explain it to you.

As an atheist, I understand what it is to be a distrusted minority. Which is not to say that I have an uncomfortable or otherwise heavily persecuted life. But I go around every day knowing that I can’t just unabashadley talk about my skepticism, secular humanism or atheism. Given the wide differences in reaction that a person could give upon hearing about my non-belief, I often choose to keep my mouth shut.

I would imagine it is similar for homosexuals. They can’t just be themselves in public: can’t give their views, talk about their personal lives or be affectionate with their partners in public without fear of potentially extreme negative reactions.

Luckily, we live in a time that seems to be heading steadily towards acceptance for atheists and homosexuals both.

The one advantage, however, that an atheist has over a homosexual is that an atheist can get married in the United States. Which I find very intersting.

(More, under the fold.)

Christians will have you believe that marriage has to be ‘their way or the highway’. Unfortunately for them, their word (or their book’s word, or their god’s word) is not the final word on who gets to be married in this country.

How do I know that? Simple. If tomorrow I wished to get married, and had a lady atheist to wed, I could do so. We could drive to Las Vegas, find a nice little drive-thru wedding chapel and get hitched in no time.

Now why on Earth could two godless heathens do such a thing if marriage in America had something to do with Christianity? Not only atheists are allowed to do this, mind you, but so are Hindus and Buddhists, Muslims and Jews, Wiccans and Scientologists and Raelians and Sikhs.

If marriage in America was really bound together with Christianity, then only Christians could be married. If marriage was really bound together with religion in general, then only the religious could be married. But neither is the case.

And, since the only arguments against homosexual marriage are religious ones, doesn’t this tell us something? I certainly think so.

Homosexuals have just as much right to get married in the United States as atheists, Christians, Baha’i or Mormons. California and Massachusetts have it right. Pretty soon, I hope and think, the other 48 will follow suit.



  1. Hi all, as a slightly off topic comment/request, I’m hosting a survey on my blog to collect data about people’s use of religious labels — and I’d sure appreciate your input! Thanks in advance.

  2. I have been searching for a while for the right way to say this, you cleverly put it in perfect prose. Bravo.

  3. Well said!

  4. Massachusetts and California do not have Marriage Equality! Marriage Equality is having ALL of the rights of marriage, including the 1138 federal marriage rights, not a legal category labeled “marriage” which is devoid of those rights. Barak Obama supports granting “civil unions and other legally-recognized unions” (including domestic partnerships and marriage) the 1138 federal rights of marriage. Presently, that includes 10 states! That would be Marriage Equality! Who cares what it is called? The vast majority of the LGBT community is more interested in their rights than the title.

    The backlash to our marriage-only strategy has brought us an entirely new body of anti-gay laws: the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and 45 states passing laws or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. 17 of those laws/constitutional amendments went further by also prohibiting civil unions and domestic partnerships. However, domestic partnerships and civil unions have never been successfully reversed on a direct challenge. The difference between California’s same-sex marriage and California’s comprehensive domestic partnerships is moot. When will our community start putting reality before rhetoric? True Marriage Equality can only be won in the US Congress, signed by the President. That is where we should be focusing our energies.

  5. Leland, I understand your feelings and support you 100%. My apologies for being less than specific in reference to California and Massachusetts. They seem, however, to be doing the best so far in heading towards marriage equality. I know we have a long way to go. But I’m confident we’re headed in the right direction, nonetheless.

  6. all enlightened civilizations of antiquity held homosexuality in high regard. Bushido, for instace, is the exclusion of females and a band of male warriors that exist in a relationship equal to, if not closer than, brotherhood. the greeks-’nuff said. the romans were the same. these are just the few easy examples. there is no downside to homosexuality in truth, yet people still create this vindictive stigma about the topic; it really hearkens back to the dark ages. fortunately, even America will be coming around the bend soon enough. To be completely honest, gay marraige is a total nonissue, and there are so many other things that need to be addressed before the government should even consider infringing upon people’s right to marry, male or female.
    religon tied to marraige is laughable, no doubt

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