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To be sure, there’s a lot of work to be done.  But the “state” is getting closer and closer each passing year.

We’re seeing courts rule that gay marriage is protected; is a civil right.  To restrict the contract of marriage at a state or government level is simply not consistent with the role of that state.  We wouldn’t expect governments to restrict marriage within the context of religion.  Nor do we expect the state to restrict marriage on the basis of race.

It is with that in mind that I applaud the Navy in their decision:

The Navy will allow its chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages once the military’s ban on gay marriage is officially lifted this summer, according to a new memo written by Navy’s head chaplain, Rear Admiral Mark Tidd.

The memo reads: “Regarding the use of base facilities for same-sex marriages, legal counsel has concluded that generally speaking, base facility use is sexuality orientation neutral. If the base is located in a state where same-sex is legal, then base facilities may normally be used to celebrate the marriage.”

Awesome!

It’s about time.

And not only did the Navy get it right on the brush strokes, but they got some details down too:

Navy marriages on Navy bases typically involve Navy Chaplains, but the memo goes on to say the chaplains involvement is not mandatory and he or she could decline to participate if gay marriage is not “consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization.”

I firmly believe this decision is consistent with the idea of extending personal Liberty to all.  Why in the world do we think the state ought restrict a legally binding contract enacted by two adult and consenting human beings?  Liberty means Liberty.  Even if, in fact, especially when, you may not agree with the application of such Liberty.

And for the religious conservative – Should the state forbid the marriages of atheists?

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