Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Marriage

There are a couple of new developments in the same-sex marriage issue in our area. First, as I wrote about a few weeks ago, the Jackson Citizen Patriot has refused to publish a same-sex wedding announcement in their "Milestones" section. They're also refusing to publish letters about the issue, claiming that they don't publish letters criticizing business practices of any business, unless that is already an issue in the news.

Well, now it is. Former Jackson resident Chuck Meade has taken this issue to another level, contacting the state's leading lgbt periodical, Between the Lines. You can read about it at http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=31586. The CitPat says that Meade's wedding isn't legal in either this state or the state it's happening in, but if they were approached by a Jackson couple getting married in a state that recognizes same-sex weddings, then, well, who knows? They're taking it on a case-by-case basis for now. I notice, however, that the CitPat did publish an Associated Press news article about Ellen DeGeners' wedding. The policy lines they're drawing are definitely out-of-touch.

Meanwhile, Marriage Matters Jackson is getting ready to roll out their signing of the Community Marriage Policy in September. Strangely, you won't find anything about it at http://www.marriagemattersjackson.org/. The last time I saw a copy of the CMP, a document they're asking clergy and justices to sign, it declared that marriage was an institution ordained by God and that marriage is between one man and one woman. Like the CitPat, their explanation at Marriage Matters for why they state this is that state law defines marriage in our state as between a man and a woman. After working with the committee and striving for openness and inclusiveness, I quit it several months ago.

I'm getting tired of saying this, but it is civil marriage in the state that's defined as between a man and a woman. Religious marriage is not defined by the state, nor should it be. Same-sex marriage happens all the time in our state, and there's nothing that prevents the United Way/Marriage Matters or the CitPat from recognizing it. There's no reason the Milestones section of the paper couldn't print the announcements, as over 900 other papers, including the Detroit Free Press and News do. And there's no reason that Marriage Matters couldn't include same-sex couples in their workshops and advertise that they do so, and include same-sex weddings in their Community Marriage Policy.

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