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updated: 8/20/2013 10:59 AM

Religion should not obstruct gay marriage

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The Herald has printed a rash of letters recently from members of the Christian faith denouncing gay marriage in Illinois. In almost every letter, the Christian Bible is quoted at members of all other faiths as a presumed standard of morality upon which laws regarding access to or denial of civil marriage are to be based.

Perhaps it is time that we grow as a people and not only reaffirm but celebrate that we are a nation founded on the freedom of all faiths. Members of faiths which do not deny gay marriage also have their own ages-old religious texts which they refer to which are just as morally valid and historically real as the Bible. The Bible carries no inherent legal superiority over these.

As no American or Illinois citizen is required first to consult a Christian Bible in order to access his civil right to vote, to free speech, to bear arms, to collectively assemble, or even to acquire access to a civil union, neither should any Illinoisan be required to first consult or pre-fulfill the singular moral definitions of a Christian Bible before he or she can access the civil right to marry, or any right.

Fortunately for all citizens the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution guarantees: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This should, for Illinoisans, also translate: no government establishment of the singular moral rules regarding civil marriage found in Christianity over those found in other faiths.

Gay marriage, similarly to straight marriage, should therefore have no religious obstruction to being law in Illinois.

John F. Page


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