Defending Marriage

Romance novels are about relationships, about two people overcoming obstacles and working to establish trust. Romance Writers of America (RWA), writes that in a romance lovers “risk and struggle for each other…and are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.” In a romance novel, with its happily-ever-after outlook, the story often ends with a marriage, or at least the promise of one.

sf-july-2008-1202I am a romance writer. I write about romance because I believe in it just as surely I believe in marriage. I believe that life is better because of romance, and it is better because of marriage. Finding one’s soul mate is not an easy task. Pledging lifelong love and commitment to that person is truly wondrous.

Why then are so many supposedly religious folk denying others the joy and permanance that comes from the marriage vow? In the name of their God? What sort of God denies any person’s love for another?

On Tuesday, California passed Proposition 8. In doing so, a small majority enforced their religious beliefs on the rest of the state. I believe it was an act of intolerance, ignorance, and fear. It marked those in the gay and lesbian community as unworthy of marriage.

Not so many years ago, other states banned interracial marriages. Courts bastardized children born of such unions. Parents could be, and were at times, jailed for a simple act of love. Eventually, however, as Civil Rights took root and reason prevailed, courts began to see the light. The laws were declared unjust and people who loved one another – Black, White, or Asian – could legally wed.

However hurtful, I believe this latest assault on the right to marry in California (and other states) is simply one more temporary setback. Like the Civil Rights movement, the marches and protests must, and will, continue until society sees the light. As in a romance novel, there will be a struggle, but there will also be a happily-ever-after for those who love.