Officially beginning today, Illinois county clerks can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It’s a change many might not like, but it’s a change that should be made.
For those who think government should be limited in its reach, the change should come as a welcome development. Why should two consenting adults not be allowed to marry if that’s what they want? Why should government play a role in citizens’ emotional lives?
There will be those who protest the change due to their religious beliefs. There’s an important difference between government in the United States and religion. Government must represent and defend the right of individuals.
That’s not always the case with some religious groups.
The law allows many actions considered wrong in certain religious groups — gambling, consuming alcohol, working on the Sabbath, even divorce.
The ability to marry the person you love — regardless of his or her gender — should not be prevented due to the religious stance of some people.
Society shifts and changes as the years go by. Just 60 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was illegal for states to create separate school systems for their black residents.
The decision sparked the civil rights movement that swept a wave of change across the country to everyone’s benefit.
This change now in place in Illinois touches no one but those directly involved. The rest of us should share their happiness of being able to formally share their lives with the ones they love.