A Wiccan asks why

Jessica Day is a Sacramento artist and writer

I’m tired of the debate in this country over gay marriage. To me, the truth is so obvious I don’t understand why there even is a debate. Why is it that morality based on religious dogma is allowed to form the basis for our country’s policies on anything, including same-sex marriage?

Don’t mistake my meaning. I’m not suggesting that morality has no place in our society; but should any law in a free government be based solely on religious doctrine? Many of the colonists who first journeyed to America came to escape persecution from a religious majority insistent that its way was the only possible way. Were our Founding Fathers evil blasphemers against the status quo, or great free thinkers who understood that free societies might have to allow rights for some of their citizens that the rest didn’t like? The answer is obvious; they bequeathed to us a Constitution that guarantees religious freedom.

According to my religious values, gay marriage is perfectly acceptable. As a Wiccan, I believe marriage takes place between two souls who love each other. The question of genders is irrelevant. As a lesbian, I have a very personal stake in this issue. Why are my rights and the rights of a sizable portion of our population being denied? Marriage is not a privilege, but a basic cornerstone of human cultures the world over. Why should one group’s ceremonies be given legal recognition while another group’s are specifically denied?

The United States of America is a nation with a Constitution designed to protect the individual from the tyranny of the majority. This assures equal rights for all Americans, even if most wish to limit those freedoms. I don’t mean to offend, but it really isn’t your decision whether or not I can marry another woman. The responsibility for that choice is solely mine—or at least it should be.

Does my marriage to another woman really cause you harm? Does it actually have anything to do with you? I only ask that people put aside their own convictions long enough to remember that our society is free and think about what it takes to keep it free.