As you’ve probably heard by now, President Obama publicly announced his support for gay marriage yesterday. To me, this is akin to the Lyndon Johnson calling for the abolishment of the Jim Crow laws in the 1964 State of the Union address. Future generations will look back at our generation with the same kind of scoffing disbelief that we today have toward segregation.

Why would anybody have thought that black people didn’t deserve the same rights as white people? What difference does the color of your skin make on what drinking fountain you can use? How could that ever be the majority’s viewpoint? It all seems rather absurd to our “enlightened” sensibilities today, and we like to pat ourselves on the back for being so egalitarian compared to previous generations.

Similarly, our children will surely ask us “Why did straight people care if two gay people got married? What difference did it make to them? Why did society allow it to be outlawed for so long?”

The fact of the matter is that any legal restriction as to who can marry who beyond each person being a consenting adult is to use the government to enforce religious law, which is a direct violation of the first ammendment.

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.</blockquote>

By passing laws that say that marriage can only be between one man and one woman, whose justification is invariably that “the bible tells me so,” what we are really saying is that there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion as long as that religion is my religion.

All animals are created equal, except some are more equal than others.

All men are created equal, as long as they are white, male, heterosexual, land-owning Christians.

If you belong to a religion that says every gay person who has ever lived is going to burn in hell for all eternity I’d say you’re being pretty judgmental, but belonging to that religion is your constitutional right. If you belong to a religion that says that being gay is totally awesome then that is also your constitutionally granted right. Don’t belong to any religion at all? Again, your constitutional right.

However, you can’t have one and not the others. Either we have freedom from religious persecution through the separation of church and state, or we don’t.