For the Record: Some-sex marriages? Wait a minute, it’s same-sex marriages |

For the Record: Some-sex marriages? Wait a minute, it’s same-sex marriages

by Sheila Gardner, Record-Courier editor

As sure as it’s autumn, election signs are beginning to sprout in my Gardnerville neighborhood. The one that has caught my attention reads, “Protect marriage.”

I am tempted to put up a sign that says, “From what?”

The placards, illustrated with an engagement ring in the shape of a heart, urge voters to support question No. 2, an amendment to the Nevada constitution to provide that “only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.”

Proponents of the issue say it will ensure that Nevada law upholds the definition of marriage as being only between a man and a woman. While our statutes already say that, supporters of the measure want to add insurance by changing the state constitution.

We’d be saying to the rest of the world, “We don’t recognize same-sex marriages in Nevada …. and we really mean it.”

In other words, if a same-sex couple legally married in another state comes to Nevada, we won’t have to recognize their marriage when it comes to the legal benefits to which married couples are entitled.

I have the highest respect for people with successful marriages and understand the challenges such a union presents. I have seen couples come apart because of indifference and infidelity, substance abuse, spousal abuse, ambition, greed, poverty and illness.

My marriage failed, too, but I think even my former husband would agree that gay people had nothing to do with our divorce. I will spare you the gruesome details for one, simple reason.

It’s none of your business.

Just as it’s nobody’s business whether people who marry are of the same sex, opposite sex, handicapped, homeless, old, black, white or brown.

Question No. 2 speaks to me of fear and discrimination and recalls the day not so long ago when the law precluded people of different races from marrying.

What’s next? A constitutional amendment that says only the healthy, cosmetically pleasing and financially sound can marry?

I find it ironic in a state that embraces prostitution and finances itself with gambling receipts, that we’re afraid Nevada will become a Mecca for married gay people. With so many other factors contributing to divorce, why single out two people who simply want to make a commitment to each other?

I expect to be on the losing side of this one after Election Day. The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage easily collected 120,000 signatures to place this issue on the ballot.

But I just wanted to testify to the fact that gay people had nothing to do with the break-up of my marriage. It needed protection all right, but not from homosexuals.

It you really believe that same-sex partners are a threat to wedded bliss, don’t marry one. But please, leave our constitution alone and allow Nevada to remain the state that’s always been big enough for everyone.

n Sheila Gardner is editor of The Record-Courier.