To The Herald-Whig:
I find the public, political fight over gay marriage, along with the Illinois legislation on gay civil unions, odd and peculiar when compared with the facts.
The first ever mention of civil unions which we know as marriage was in 3,000 BCE Mesopotamia. It was exclusively a civil matter then. And for the past 5,000 years the civil union we call marriage has been solely and exclusively a matter of civil, secular governments. Marriage has never been a religious institution. Priests, ministers, rabbis and imams get their authority to perform marriages from the state. Religion is superfluous when it comes to the civil union we call marriage. See: "The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest; A History of Modern Marriage in Medieval France."
Since Illinois' gay civil unions are supposed to have all the same rights and privileges as marriage why not just legalize gay marriage? Why create all new case law? Why create a parallel, redundant, and "separate but equal" legal structure? History shows that separate but equal never is.
This political fight doesn't seem to be over substance. Instead the fight is entirely, and only, over the definition and usage of an eight-letter word! All of this energy, emotion, money, effort, debate and time over eight measly letters of the alphabet! An entirely new statewide legal structure is debated, legislated and created with highly limited tax dollars just because of eight English letters. New state law is created because of four vowels and four consonants. I can't help but think of George Carlin.
I've come from "The People's Republic of Massachusetts." Gay marriage has been legal for quite a while and we haven't fallen into the pit of hell. Sodom & Gomorrah are nowhere to be found. We haven't experienced a plague of locusts. Our children are doing well. Crime has not increased. We don't have an AIDS epidemic. Our streets are not choked with outlandishly dressed homosexuals. The state's economy and finances are in much better shape than most other states, Illinois included. However, gay marriage has definitely ruined the Red Sox for this season.
It appears to me that within 10 to 20 years gay marriage will be a constitutionally protected right, all across the nation. One year after that most everyone will have gotten on with their lives and will wonder what all the fuss was about.