The following letter was submitted to the Birmingham News by Joe Openshaw and printed in the May 24, 2012 edition.
Soon, the gay community in Birmingham will be celebrating Pride, the annual weeklong series of events highlighted by a nighttime parade and a festival the following day.
This year, President Barack Obama has given us much to be proud of. His endorsement of marriage equality gives the LGBT community reason to celebrate. More recently, the NAACP has endorsed marriage equality.
Some are speaking out against these endorsements, mostly on religious grounds. Do they not realize marriage is a civil, not a religious, institution?
Couples go to a government office, not a church, to apply for a marriage license. In no instance is the right for same-sex couples to marry being forced on a religious organization.
Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reason others do: They want to make a lifelong commitment to the person they love.
No one’s marriage is harmed or affected when same-sex couples are allowed to marry. In fact, the institution is strengthened, if only because two more people who love each other have solidified their relationship.
Why presumably straight people would be against gay people wanting to be in a monogamous, loving relationship is beyond me.
Let’s stop the name-calling and the hate speech. Let’s stop confusing government function with religious ceremony.
And let’s begin promoting love, monogamy, family and marriage.
Why Marriage Matters Alabama