News and social media sites have become laden with talk of the Supreme Court case regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage on a federal level. Many people’s Facebook profile pages now show the image of a red equal sign to show their support for same-sex marriage while a few others show that of a red plus sign to show their disapproval. Those that support same-sex marriage have posted images and memes stating that if two people love each other and want to get married, then who is the general public to stop them?
As a Catholic, my religion tells me one thing- that marriage, in the religious sense, is between a man and a woman. I still struggle with this because I fully support civil unions, and I know that some homosexuals are deeply religious and would like to be married under God. Although my faith does not agree with that, I fully support those who wish to be married no matter if their spouse is the same gender as them or not if their faith allows it.
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Most of my family and friends will not agree with me in this point and that is alright with me. I have thought long and hard about this issue because it is one of contention in the military circle. Most service members and their families are conservative. Our military is based on a Christian faith where we pray before ceremonies and meals. According to most Christian faiths, homosexual marriage is not allowed and therefore, some service members and their families don’t agree with it. And since the Federal Government does not recognize homosexual civil unions or marriages, neither does our military.
When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed, I didn’t think much of it. Then, at our Marine Corps Ball, my husband pointed out a Marine who had brought his boyfriend. I thought it was awesome. I thought how excited this Marine must be to finally be able to bring the person he loved to a wonderful night such as this instead of having to go alone. I also thought how brave he and his partner were for standing up for what they believed in when they undoubtedly knew people would be staring and whispering.
A couple of weeks ago, we lost 10 Marines- seven to a mortar accident and three to a murder-suicide. I don’t know the relationships of all those that died; if they had wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, or husbands. But when I heard the news of both these tragedies, my mind went immediately to those who were getting the knock on the door- how hurt, scared, and vulnerable they were feeling. Then my mind floated to our Ball last year and the Marine who brought his boyfriend, and how, if they had been civilly unified, that he wouldn’t be the one getting the knock on the door. He would have to hear it from his partner’s mother or father. He wouldn’t be the one honored with the flag at the funeral, even though it was him with whom he intended to share his life.
As a spouse of a service member, the one thing we can take pride in is saying that we are a military spouse. That we stand behind our husbands and wives, proud of what they do every day. But those in a same-sex relationship do not get that honor. They are hidden behind the scenes. I know most Christian religions tell us that marriage is between a man and a woman, and I still believe that. But I also know that as a believer in Christ, I am also to love my neighbor and not to judge them. I admire those that wish to step out of the shadows and as a military spouse, I will welcome them with open arms.