Vinson: Beware of same sex marriage in TN
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 10:50 am
By MIKE VINSON
Most are aware that on Friday, June 26, 2015, the U.S Supreme Court voted to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States. "The justices ruled 5-4 that states cannot deny gay men and lesbians the marriage rights enjoyed for thousands of years by opposite-sex couples" (reference: "USA Today," June 27, 2015 edition).
Expectedly, there was tremendous dissent among the nine justices in reaching a conclusion. Wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy: "Same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right."
Regardless your political leaning or sexual orientation, this was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, one that promises to alter the "face" of American society figuratively and, possibly, literally. And when I say "literally," I mean: Given the mercurial advances being made in the medical field (technology, surgical procedures, pharmaceuticals, hormone aids and enhancers) who can argue it would be absolutely impossible for a "new definition" of human being to exist sometime in the near future?
While the U.S, Supreme Court was reaching its decision on same-sex marriage, Tennessee remained one of the 14 states that did not recognize same-sex marriage. However, given this ruling Tennessee now must comply and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In fact, the front-page headline of the Sunday/June 28, 2015 edition of the "Southern Standard" (McMinnville/Warren County newspaper) read: "Gay marriage coming to county."
Regarding same-sex marriage in Tennessee, the remarks I've heard from locals have ranged from, "A tremendous breakthrough for humanity," to "We're becoming another Sodom & Gomorrah--it's a wonder the Lord doesn't send down fire and brimstone from Heaven and consume us all!"
Moving right along it is my understanding churches/religious organizations, as of now anyway, are not compelled to perform same-sex marriages. However, it also is my understanding those same churches/religious organizations "can allow" clergy to conduct same-sex marriages if they so choose.
Granted, most gay and lesbian couples desiring to marry will opt for a "wedding officiant"--pastor, priest, rabbi, judge, Justice of the Peace, County Court Clerk, etc.--who has no qualms about conducting same-sex marriage, and, too, those couples will choose for a marriage site a place that is receptive, not hostile, to same-sex marriage.
However, readers, beware! Remember we dwell in the very buckle of the Bible-Belt, and this would be the perfect testing ground for yet more latitude and longitude in same-sex marriage. I have a "prophecy" that goes something like this:
Inevitably, politics will enter into the foray. The same-sex issue is discussed in legislative sessions, and, eventually, a bill passes that legally compels any minister of any faith to perform a same-sex marriage. It ultimately becomes so controversial there is a showdown putting to test "separation of church and state."
I certainly am not wishing for a scenario as described above, but given the world in which we live, such certainly is within the realm of possibility.