Today is a happy moment for lots of gay people in Washington state, Oregon's neighbor to the north.
Last month Washingtonians ratified the legislature's legalization of gay marriage. They also legalized marijuana -- which means that, as painful as it is for me to say this, I have to give Washington the edge over Oregon on "coolness" (cultural, not meteorological).
Same sex people in Washington became eligible to get marriage licenses today. Their mood was celebratory, according to the Portland Oregonian. Who can blame them?
As a harpist played in the lobby, excited couples converged on the Clark County auditor's office Thursday to receive licenses allowing them to tie the knot under Washington's new same-sex marriage law.
About two dozen couples received licenses within the first hour after the office opened at 9 a.m. to the applause of gay-marriage supporters and a swarm of news photographers.
"Neither one of us ever thought we would have the ability to get married and be able to stand up in front of people and say, 'This is my wife,'" said Kim Hyder, 41, of Vancouver, as Samantha Petshow, 43, her partner of 15 years, stood in line next to her. "It's beyond words; it's like winning the lottery."
Well, unfortunately many Americans do blame gays for getting married. Usually not for good reasons. After all, homosexuality almost always isn't a choice; it is a condition people are born with, just like being heterosexual is.
And it is increasingly clear that gays are as devoted and loving to their partners as heterosexuals. Gays also usually are good parents, just as most heterosexual people are. So logically it is tough to justify discriminating against gays when it comes to marriage, adoption, or anything else.
Religions, though, don't care about logic. They don't care about facts. They don't care about reasonable reasons. Religions are the source of most discrimination against gays.
Americans who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, 46% of the adult population, are most likely to explain their position on the basis of religious beliefs and/or interpretation of biblical passages dealing with same-sex relations.
...Seven in 10 weekly church attenders are opposed to same-sex marriage, while seven in 10 of those who seldom or never attend church are in favor. This dramatic difference in position on same-sex marriage based on religiosity underscores the power of the relationship between religion and attitudes toward moral and values issues in America today.
Yes, religion makes people immoral.
Religion makes them dislike homosexuals. Religion makes them feel superior to those who don't share their faith, to the point of abusing or even killing them (holy wars have been around for as long as religion has). Religion sacrifices human rights and dignity in the name of an imaginary god.
Steven Weinberg said it truly:
With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.