Marriage must be for all

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On behalf of the Board of Directors of Augusta Pride, I wanted to commend The Augusta Chronicle and especially Staff Writer Steve Crawford for a beautifully written commemorative piece on the tragic death of Aiken Public Safety Officer Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers and the ongoing struggles of her unofficial spouse, Officer Frances Williams.

While their relationship was never recognized in law, and possibly not by some members of their family and community, they were very much a couple, though maybe not one as common as those they served to protect on a daily basis.

While Frances and Sandy chose to live a quiet, unassuming life – be it out of either fear of, or respect for, their community – it is nice to see this community coming together to acknowledge that many people make sacrifices to protect the safety of our families and friends, be they straight or gay, and they deserve our respect. The individual religious choices each of us makes for ourselves should not influence how we treat one another in the public square, where people of many faiths and beliefs come together.

Relationships such as theirs deserve to be protected because they make our community stronger, not weaker. Frances and Sandy would not have weakened the institution of marriage, and they would not have destroyed it – but instead they serve as an example of why marriage is still an important institution for our society.

While we agree with local radio show host Austin Rhodes that “gay folks need the same protection under law that married people have,” we disagree that this legal protection can truly come in a separate but equal institution called legal domestic partnerships. There is nothing religious about the word “marriage” when a straight couple marries at City Hall, two atheists marry at a seaside resort or a convicted felon marries his prison pen pal.

Instead, in Georgia and South Carolina it means they are straight. Marriage is an institution of commitment, born in love and recognized by society. We don’t need two institutions – straight marriage and gay domestic partnerships – to recognize our families. Officer Williams lost her wife; she did not lose a housemate.

(The writer is public relations director for Augusta Pride.)

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Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 09:37 am
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I didn't realize that obeying
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I didn't realize that obeying the law made one a bigot. Just gotta love the name calling of the left. It never ends.

jic
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jic 01/30/13 - 09:49 am
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It is what it is. DOMA is
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It is what it is. DOMA is wrong, bigoted, and stupid. That's no argument. And it's not name calling. It is why southerners would still have slavery if issues pertaining to minorities were left up to voters.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/jim-nabors-stan-cadwallader-mar...
Do you think dating for 38 years is long enough or are they just playing house?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 09:53 am
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Way to generalize
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Way to generalize southerners, by the way.

And I will state once again, gays have the EXACT same restrictions on marriage as anyone else.

billcass
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billcass 01/30/13 - 09:54 am
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There is no argument?

Respectfully, JJC, you can't simply call something wrong, bigoted and stupid, and say there is "no argument" that contradicts you. There are many valid arguments on both sides of this issue, and it is one we should carefully consider. But calling people names and denigrating them does not make you right. It just makes you exactly what you are accusing them of being.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 09:55 am
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If DOMA is wrong, then change
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If DOMA is wrong, then change it. What the President has decided to do is ILLEGAL. He does not have the power to pick and choose what laws he is going to enforce. He took an oath to enforce them all.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 09:58 am
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Hmmmm...calling someone a
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Hmmmm...calling someone a denigrating name is no longer considered name calling? Just 2 days ago I was called a "thug" for calling people "people." The left just keep on redefining EVERYTHING.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 10:20 am
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JIC Where do you draw the

JIC Where do you draw the line, two adults only? Why? I mentioned my friend that grew up in a family of two dads one mom and 4 children! What is your arguement for going beyond two opposite sex adults

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 10:23 am
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@YeCats

Constitutional rights should not be subject to the will of the majority, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that marriage is a fundamental right.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 10:26 am
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Who doesn't have the right to
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@OJP

Who doesn't have the right to marry? I'll state again......gays have the EXACT same restrictions on marriage as anyone else.

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 10:26 am
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@carcraft

Polygamy is not the subject, nationally or locally. Gay marriage - state recognition of the relationship between two people of the same gender - is. Until such time as polygamy becomes an important topic, your argument is nothing but a straw man.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 01/30/13 - 10:29 am
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Maybe we are approaching this

Maybe we are approaching this from the wrong direction. Maybe we should take government out of the line of fire in the "marriage" debate by calling them all civil unions. After all, the government does not convey any special meaning of love or committment to "marriage". The term married is used by the courts and the tax man to enforce laws and the inferred contractual obligations of what is arguably simply a civil partnership.

Let the government call them all civil unions. Go down sign a contract in front of a duly sworn government official. And for those who want to be called "married", they can have a wedding ceremony at their church or whatever satisfies their need to be sanctioned by some power other than the government. They can tell everyone they are married, people can refer to them as being married, but the civil union contract would be the legal document for all cases requiring proof of being, or having, a spouse.

Poof, problem solved with no requirement for the government to legally redefine the word "married".

jic
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jic 01/30/13 - 10:27 am
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carcraft, have you heard
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carcraft, have you heard anyone arguing for anything else? There's no 'slippery slope.' And I respectfully disagree that there are two "equally valid" points of view. You in fact do NOT have an equal right to oppress a minority. Your point of view is religious, not secular. You cannot offer a reasoned argument for discrimination. The courts will not ultimately side with you. DOMA is wrong and it will be changed, whether you 'evolve' on it or not.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 10:29 am
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My prediction

The last 5 states to approve same sex marriage.
My pick for the last 5 states to approve same sex marriage:
46. South Carolina
47. Alabama
48. Mississippi
49. Tennessee
50. Utah
Anyone else care to weigh in?

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 10:29 am
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@Fiat_Lux

Yours is an old argument that didn't help the opponents of inter-racial marriage, and doesn't help y'all today.

Before Loving v. Virginia, all races had the same marriage rights, right? They could marry any member of the opposite sex of the same race. It's a disingenuous argument (but I think you know that).

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 10:31 am
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"Constitutional rights should
Unpublished

"Constitutional rights should not be subject to the will of the majority, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that marriage is a fundamental right."

"Polygamy is not the subject, nationally or locally. Gay marriage - state recognition of the relationship between two people of the same gender - is."

Can't have it both ways......rights are rights...and YOU stated they should not be at the whim of the majority.....so if your minority is small enough (polygamy) then your topic isn't important and is only a straw man? Oh the tolerance of the left.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 10:32 am
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OJP Show me in the

OJP Show me in the constitution you have a right to marry! Marriage in law is considered a contract and you have no right to contract! One of The legal requirements for valid contracts is no coercion! So explain to me where your have a "right " to marry? The tenth amendment gives the authority to regulate marriage to the states, DOMA further keeps the feds out!

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 10:34 am
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"carcraft, have you heard
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"carcraft, have you heard anyone arguing for anything else? There's no 'slippery slope.' "

Really? There isn't?

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/woman-wants-to-marry-seatt...

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 10:37 am
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The argument isn't

The argument isn't theological but biological. Marriage predates recorded history and lots of cultures have a means of origin. But the fact is it is biological and a part of our evolultion for the whole purpose of procreation passing on genes and memes. Sure now it is a social and legal contract but the origin is biological and studies affirm the need for two parents. To my knowlege two genetically same sex individuals have never given birth to an offspring. Interestingly enough the studies supporting gay unions parenting has now been discredited as fraudulent and biased. Then the health risks of risky behaviors of homosexuals-AIDS would have never been the epidemic in the US if not for IV drug abusers and gays. Then we find homosexuality has a likely genetic and environmental component and are there risks with acceptance in deviating normal sexual development? Really the religious argument has nothing to do with it other than it is classified as sin but so is adultery and it isn't illegal.

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 10:40 am
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@carcraft

My experience on the comment section is that many people refuse to accept U.S. Supreme Court precedent as constitutional law (despite it being considered so by, well, every competent legal authority).

Do you accept the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution? 'Cause if the answer is no, there really isn't much use in discussing constitutional law with you.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 10:42 am
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Jic Your thinking is very

Jic Your thinking is very narrow if you think there is no slippery slope! There are millions of Muslims in the US that would love multiple marriage! There are fundamentalist Mormons etc All you are doing is opening a door! Now tell me why it is wrong not to restrict you but it is them? Now we have the gay child support issue I talked about, ( the sperm donor getting hauled into court for child support) but don't worry, equal rights never seem to transelate into equal responsibility!

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 10:46 am
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@Bizkit

Unless you are going to require all couples to give birth as a condition of getting married, requiring the same of only gay couples isn't consistent and therefore isn't a convincing requirement.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 10:53 am
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OJP you missed the point. I

OJP you missed the point. I wasn't claiming marriage is linked to birth but it is linked to the evolution of family units-very important in our evolutionary history. My argument is that it isn't an argument with merit to hinge a freedom on a sexual preference. Now if you two grown adults want to enter into a legal contract for whatever that is different than simply we are having sex so that qualifies as marriage.

SFCRET85
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SFCRET85 01/30/13 - 10:56 am
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Monopoly
Unpublished

Techfan writes "No one has a monopoly on screwed up kids or a screwed up relationship."

The Bible Belt-Red States reports 82 percent Christian Church attendance along with a 60 percent divorce rate-highest in America. That's facts and while not a "monopoly on screwed up kids or a screwed up relationship", it's way the heck out in front of what ever is in second place.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 11:00 am
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What rights do gay's NOT have
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What rights do gay's NOT have that everyone else has?

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 11:00 am
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@Bizkit

It's actually shocking to me that I've found someone who still thinks homosexuality is some kind of choice. Why on earth would homosexuals want to put up with so much if they didn't have to? It's absurd on its face.

But - if you honestly think it is a choice, prove me wrong and choose a member of your gender, choose to be attracted to them, and choose to have sex with them. Then choose to fall in love with them. If you can do all that (or even find someone who has if you aren't willing to put your money where your mouth is), then I'll admit it may be a choice for some people.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 11:06 am
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"It's actually shocking to me
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"It's actually shocking to me that I've found someone who still thinks homosexuality is some kind of choice."

Is pedophilia a choice? Is bestiality a choice? Is the desire for polygamy a choice? Why on earth would homosexuals want to put up with so much if they didn't have to? It's absurd on its face.

Prove me wrong...choose to fall in love with a horse, or a 12 year old child, or a building as I posted earlier....marry him/her/it. Let me know how that works out, then tell us where the line should be drawn?

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 11:06 am
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OJP Haven't answered my

OJP Haven't answered my question yet! Explain how and why you draw the line?

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 11:07 am
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@carcraft

Draw the line regarding what?

I'm still waiting for you to tell me whether you accept U.S. Supreme Court precedent as part of constitutional law. Do you?

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 11:11 am
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Ever notice that in Augusta

Ever notice that in Augusta GA the articles that get the most reaction are the ones addressing religion, guns and human sexuality (homosexuality in particular)? There is no reason to parody this, because you people parody yourselves.

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 11:14 am
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@GiantsAllDay

What makes you think that is unique to Augusta? One of our major parties made "God, guns, and gays" their central platform just a few short years ago.

They're hot topics nationally.

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