Over 200 years ago our country’s forefathers created a new democracy. In their debates they wisely rejected the concept of a theocracy. One only has to witness the civil wars today over different religious interpretations to appreciate the wisdom of that decision.
The forefathers also recognized that in a democracy, there is an inherent risk that the majority may enact laws that deny a minority of basic human rights that should be enjoyed by all people. Our nation’s Bill of Rights was a brilliant response to that risk. It ensures that the majority cannot deny a minority basic human rights.
Today’s debate regarding marriage equality is a discussion over extending basic human rights to all citizens. Married couples in Washington state have many legal rights that are currently denied to partners that are not recognized as “married” by the legal system. Washington state’s same-sex marriage bill remedies that situation.
To focus the debate on varying religious interpretations of marriage ignores the Bill of Rights. Arguing over how many angels are on the head of a pin has no place in a debate that is fundamentally about which citizens are to be granted the basic human rights that our country’s founders promised to all its citizens.