Gay marriage is one of the most controversial and polarizing issues of the modern era. The increasingly Christian-influenced Republican Party has made gay marriage one of its primary talking points, prompting the Democratic Party to come back at them by re-iterating the importance of the separation of church and state. But in a world where the Republican Party is controlled by the fringe Tea Party, making religion a matter of politics, it becomes difficult to extract one from the other in the modern political arena.
THE TEA PARTY
Beginning as a protest against Obama’s Affordable Care Act and continuing with John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate in his 2008 presidential campaign, the Tea Party has grown in popularity and size, making it an unofficial third party within the Republican Party itself. Lacking a primary agenda, it is often dominated by fear tactics and shock words, appealing to a base that is loyal and predominantly Christian. The group is driven by Christian principles such as a fetus’ right to life, restricted birth control, and strictly heterosexual marriage. The Tea Party votes keep coming in, electing representatives who live by these principles and do not have any desire to change them, either personally or politically, as a change in principle would likely end in relinquishment of their seats in Congress. Thus, the more moderate Republicans often surrender to their demands, resulting in a Republican Party that becomes more and more conservative with each passing year.
THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
One of the founding concepts on which this country was built was the freedom of religion. In Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, he writes that legislators should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” This concept was incorporated into the U.S. Constitution as the First Amendment, but legislators have historically had a difficult time enforcing it. Because the United States is an unusually religious country for a “first-world” nation, religious beliefs have been a defining force behind many important government decisions. From legislation on abortions to birth control and gay marriage, the First Amendment of the Constitution has been rendered close to obsolete due to the religious convictions of the general population. Thus, politicians are inclined to gloss over the separation of church and state to fight for the religious agenda of their constituents, in an effort to keep their seats in Congress.
THE NOVELTY OF GAY MARRIAGE
Politicians argue that gay marriage is simply a product of modern Western society, a fluke of our societal structure that allows two men or two women to behave as heterosexuals have done since the beginning of civilization. Drawing on this concept, politicians have constructed an argument that says that the purpose of marriage is to procreate and continue the human race. However, countering that argument are studies that have shown an evolutionary reason for homosexuality. The person who does not have children of his/her own propagates the idea of “alloparenting,” that is, creating a buffer and means support to parents, which in turn increases survival rates for infants. Hence, the continuance of homosexuality may indeed be a contributing factor in the survival of the human race after all.
The issue of gay marriage remains a hot topic. But legally, the government should be concerned not with morality but with equal treatment of its citizens. According to the Constitution, the issue of morality is to be left to the church.
Robbie Edison writes on marriage, divorce law, cohabitation, family law, property law and other associated topics. Robbie understands the importance of locating a qualified attorney when going through a divorce; he encourages Houston residents to contact Chernoff Law, Houston Divorce Attorneys with a solid track record.