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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage Issue Should not be Divisive

Democrats are trying to make hay over Republican (some) support for Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California.  Yet it wasn't that long ago (and conveniently forgotten) that Democratic legislators were squeamish about supporting efforts for allowing gay marriage in California which ultimately led proponents to court.  From our Hotsheet on May 23rd of this year:

Interesting article in the LA Weekly about the recent State Supreme Court decision permitting gays to marry in California. At the time the case was about to go through "tolerant" Democrats squirmed and wanted to stick it back in the closet. But it was Republican judges that made the difference.

Indeed, Republican jurists of the California court appointed by Republican governors were in the majority of the decision that affirmed same-sex marriage albeit for a short time.

At the same time Democrats are showing intolerance on the issue, Republicans need to drop it.  I understand how hard this is for some of you on the right and I've heard many times your tired old claim that giving gays and lesbians equal marriage rights is "re-defining marriage." (An argument I just don't get; I have yet to see how one gay marriage has impacted anyone's heterosexual marriage.)  If the Republicans want to win they need to take this energy and focus it on tax cuts, government and corporate accountability and economic opportunity for Americans (and getting the government out of the way of it). If you want the economy to continue to get worse, for taxes to go up and to give full control of the government to liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Antonio Villaraigosa and others keep hating on the gays.

In a related story, in light of opposition to President-Elect Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren, an opponent of gay marriage, to lead the invocation at his inauguration, a liberal, bisexual blogger sides with Obama.  "Evilgrrl" states she is not supportive of Warren himself but takes the position that Obama has a right to choose whom he wants and that he's the most qualified to make this decison.  Though I too am in opposition to Warren's view on same-sex marriage (as well as other political views of Warren I would characterize as liberal, something more common around the new-age evangelical movement) I would agree.

That being said, Evilgrrl makes the comment "It's hard for me to like someone who is so opposed to a lot of the things I believe in."  That's sort of a recent development of late; something I think has come out of the divisiveness and hate that came out of certain elements of both Presidential campaigns this year.  We can't base our personal affection for individuals based on idelogy; if we did, we would have no friends.

America has to learn to be mature enough to agree to disagree.  Otherwise we're going to find ourselves on the opposite ends of a divided and torn nation not unlike what happened during the Civil War.  Let's talk through the issues, hear each other out and try to stay friendly.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:


First, the movement went wrong when it lost its candor. Let's get one thing straight: Gay marriage IS redefining "marriage." Mayor Sam, you mixed your metaphors. I agree, Gay Marriages will not impact straight marriages at all. But "redefining" the word is something entirely different.

The bottom line is that even the most innately gay person -- before 10 years ago -- thought of marriage as "one man, one woman."

And now the movement seeks to redefine it. So let's be honest. Voters don't like being snowed. Those who support Gay Marriage would still support it if everyone was intellectually honest.

Ditto with the notion that the CA Supreme Court determined that the Gay Marriage right always existed in the CA constitution, going back to 1861. Does this argument even pass the straight-face test? It's so patently absurd, it merits nothing further.

The Gay Marriage movement must be honest with itself. It should have put an amendment on the ballot stating "legalize gay marriage. Period, the end. And then let's see if America is truly ready.

This disingenuous tiptoeing around the issue is pusillaneous and an insult to voters' intelligence.

December 28, 2008 10:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This wouldn't be such a big deal if so many benefits weren't tied to being married. That's outdated. Let people designate domestic partners as they choose, and stop making singles pay extra for healthcare benefits -- those would make a lot more sense based on the individual.

Now a non-smoker who's in fabulous shape is just docked based on age and marital status, and that's not fair and doesn't make economical sense. Our healthcare system is the dumbest in the world that way.

Healthcare, property rights and so on shouldn't be tied to legal marital status, as that also has the very sad effect of dissuading people who have come to detest each other from getting divorced.

Why don't the Prop 8 people focus on the underlying inequalities in the system, affecting all singles and unhappily married heteros.

From where I sit, it's a whole lot easier to get hitched and be forced to stay hitched for the wrong reasons than be allowed to get hitched. They don't know the problems they're asking for until they've got them. Wait until the gay divorces and property and insurance battles and dilemmas start kicking in.

December 28, 2008 12:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As a US citizen who was married in Canada in 2004, I figure I have an actual stake in this argument. (I got married in Canada because they were acting like adults and treated us two gay boys with the dignity due to a couple).

I would be happy not to 'redefine marriage' ('cause throughout history marriage has remained absolutely static for 7000yrs /end sarcasm/), or just re-orient all of the benefits of marriage to the individual (like in Europe).

The problem is that the word 'marriage' is woven into the DNA of our laws and it's easier to give all couples equal rights than to rewrite all of the laws.

I'll grant you that's only a start, as we do need to re-orient the law to favor the individual and the unmarried over the strange conventions we have right now. But since privacy and the rights of the individual are pretty much up for sale to the highest bidder, I'm expecting marriage equality before that happens.

December 28, 2008 9:15 PM  

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