This is an invited guest blog from my twin brother, J. I asked him to write it because I have been puzzled a great deal about why some people say publicly that my marriage to the man I love somehow changes the definition of marriage. My brother is a practicing Catholic, and is married to a woman.
First of all, let me publicly express that I was thrilled to have the honor to serve as the Best Man (in a sense) at the marriage ceremony for my brother and the man he has loved for 20 years. I say that I was Best Man “in a sense” because the marriage ceremony was conducted as a civil matter by a judge in the county courthouse — it was not a wedding attended by guests followed by a reception, party, or public celebration.
My brother and I were raised in a huge family, most of whom remain active members of the Catholic Church. Some of my siblings chose to leave the Church for various reasons — my brother included. We have had many long discussions about this matter. Let me suffice it to say that I believe that my brother is a man of Faith — I see it every day in his actions. But enough about that.
So I am straight, married to a woman, and a Catholic. How, then, could I stand beside my brother when me was married to a man? Doesn’t it somehow change the definition of marriage when the State allows men to marry each other?
I have read many blogs and posts from a variety of people on the Internet and in the newspapers — particularly back home in Italy which is not nearly as progressive as other countries of Europe. Some of the items that I read express rather extreme and hateful points-of-view. The authors come across as hypocrites and bellicose Bible-thumpers. These type of people do nothing to win favor to their position against same-sex marriage.
Some more moderate people, regardless of religious belief, have expressed that they think that same-sex couples should be allowed to have a civil union and therefore obtain the same rights as opposite-sex couples have when they marry. Trouble is, each state in the United States and the U.S. Federal Government recognize “marriage” and provide certain rights to married couples, but the language in the law reserves the legal recognition and extension of rights to people who are “married” but not “unioned” (or whatever the term may be.)
For me, personally, having served the United States Government in the Military and in Federal Service for 32 years, I strongly believe in what the Founding Fathers of the United States designed: complete separation of church and state (government.) Our Government should not be engaged in any way with religious beliefs. It should be totally non-secular. Not anti-religion, but not religious. That is a big deal.
It comes down to the State (government) providing for a way for my brother and his spouse to be recognized as a married couple so they can receive the same treatment under the law as any other married couple. Yes, call this “marriage equality” but don’t call it “redefinition of marriage.”
In my opinion, marriage is not redefined because the State allows in its laws for same-sex couples to obtain a marriage certificate, have a civil legal procedure performed, and as a result, be labeled a “married couple.” Marriage is a civil act — anyone who wants to marry must obtain a marriage certificate from the State, regardless if they are opposite-sex or same-sex couples, and regardless if they are gay or straight.
My perspective on all this? Basta with the politics. Basta with the religious hype. On with the deserved legal recognition of a relationship I have admired for many years. My brother has done so much for and with his spouse, I could not imagine any other way to describe it — LOVE. Why deny rights to loving couples? How does their marriage in any way damage or affect your marriage? I just don’t get it.
I am thrilled to have a brother of integrity, honesty, faith, and determination as I have in my twin, and appreciate and recognize that my brother-in-law shares these same values. I love them both, and always will.
Congratulations, and much love from me and my wife. Now, let’s gather the whole fam-damily and party!