Charles Parker: Same-Sex Marriage’s Time Has Come
By Charles Parker // January 6, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Today is the day in Florida that most liberals have waited anxiously for and most conservatives have dreaded.
Same-sex marriage is legal in our state.
As reported last week in Space Coast Daily, Brevard County Clerk of the Circuit Court Scott Ellis said that his office would “begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 8 a.m. on January 6th,” after a federal judge deemed a ban on same-sex weddings as unconstitutional.
So today, gay and lesbian couples can be united in matrimony in Brevard County.
As a lifelong conservative and a former minister, one might assume that today is a troubling day for me. To the contrary. (You know what happens when you “assume…”). I am content.
When I look at issues – be they political, social, theological, generational, et al – I study them from a variety of angles.
Is there a primary text that can lay an initial foundation, but that should be read in context to the time and place it was written? Examples in this case might be the U.S. Constitution or The Holy Bible.
Is there a long-standing tradition that keeps us in touch with our past, but allows us room to explore a different future? Examples here could include man/woman marriage as well as the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Does one side of the argument carry more reasoned weight than the other? In other words, what are our nation’s courts and judges saying?
And finally – is there an experience to lay hold of that elevates one side over the other in a personal way. It is only in this criteria that one should let emotion take a part in the decision.
For me, in my four-pronged decision-making process, the arguments for legalization of same-sex marriage outweigh the claims against it.
The U.S. Constitution and the Holy Bible are canon, but are also subject to interpretation. Traditionally, the rights of the individual outweigh social norms of the State.
Logically, the legal community has evolved as it has many times in the past regarding civil rights. And finally, on a personal note, seeing family and friends codify their love affairs will be blessed events.
Finally, to my conservative friends, while we may differ here, I look forward to championing many of our causes in coming columns.
To my liberal friends, while we’ll rarely agree, I am anxious to see over time where we can find common ground to advance an agenda that improves our county, state, and country.
And to my gay and lesbian friends, I’m a notary public…just sayin.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Parker writes a weekly perspective column, Out on the Wire…Without a Net, on Space Coast Daily which appears every Tuesday.
He is a longtime resident of Brevard County and has been writing for various publications for the last 40 years – both print and digital. Parker covers space, politics, religion, and other news and special events for Space Coast Daily.
Currently, Parker is an aerospace engineering teacher at Merritt Island High School. He is also the director of both the da Vinci Academy of Aerospace Technology and the Academy of Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism at MIHS. He is a professor of Humanities and World Religions at Eastern Florida State College and Valencia College.
Parker has worked extensively in the tourism and aerospace industries in Brevard. He has also been a United Methodist pastor and director of a non-profit to help young adults aging out of foster care. He was formerly a board member at Brevard Achievement Center and the Childcare Association of Brevard. He was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Children’s Services Council from 1999-2003.
Parker earned a BA in Organizational Management from Warner University and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is married, has four children and one grandchild.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cpbrevard_scd
AUTHOR NOTE: These views are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Brevard Public Schools, Eastern Florida State College, or Valencia College.