Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Support of Gay Marriage

I come out today in support of gay marriage in Maine.

I am adamantly opposed to gay marriage in Iowa.

Why the difference?

The difference between Maine and Iowa is that Maine's decision, signed into law today by Governor John Baldacci, was made by their elected legislature. Iowa's decision was made by an activist court imposing its will on society. The former is the only appropriate forum in which to decide social issues of this ilk. The latter does not lead to a more just society, irrespective of the personal beliefs of the justices. To the contrary, it leads to overwhelming divisions that tear at the very fabric of society. Indeed, one need only look to Roe v. Wade to see that truth. The activist decision in Roe has done incalculable damage to our democratic institutions and warped the democratic process.

My individual views on gay marriage are that I oppose it on religious/historical grounds, in addition to reasons of practicality. I could wax on this at great length, going back to the origins of marriage and the Church's sanctification of marriage vows, but that would, I am sure, cost me, out of sheer boredom, the loyalty of the two people who have occasion to regularly read this blog.

That said, I recognize that there are colorable arguments in favor of gay marriage, such as those made by Rick Moran in a post here. It is a social issue that individual communities must be able to answer for themselves. It most decidedly is not a Constitutional legal issue except to say that at the time the "equal protection" amendment was passed, gay marriage was not a consideration of the drafters. To the extent anything else can be gleaned from that era, it is a safe assessment that the majority of the drafters of the equal protection clause would have opposed gay marriage. Moreover, what advocates of gay marriage seek is not "equal protection" of the laws, but the modification of laws to give them a new right not heretofore recognized in American history. Thus their recourse is to the public, not the courts.

All of that said, Maine's legislature voted overwhelmingly to allow gay marriage in that state. The Governor signed the bill today. Therefore, whether I personally agree with it or not is irrelevant. By virtue of it being a community decision, it has my support. To those who fought for this in Maine and succeeded, I congratulate you.

To those who opposed this decision on religious grounds, the larger community has spoken. You have every right to argue for a change to this decision, but if you are going to be able to grow your flock and spread your message amongst the community, you also need to come to terms with the decision and not make of it a sole and defining issue. Looking to the larger picture, there is expontially more - indeed, a million times more - to the word of Jesus than whether gay marriage is recognized in Maine.


suek said...

"Moreover, what advocates of gay marriage seek is not "equal protection" of the laws, but the modification of laws to give them a new right not heretofore recognized in American history. Thus their recourse is to the public, not the courts."

I disagree with you here. Well, partially. Yes, they want new rights - and money - which they can access through being considered married.
I don't think it will end there. I think it will be used as a legal bludgeon to force acceptance in situations where they will curtail others rights. I think that in the military, for example, the only reason to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is so that they will have the ability to claim discrimination with all the legal bennies that that will entail.

In other words, I think it's a power play, not a personal choice matter.

And yes, I recognize that that's a blanket statement which doesn't apply to everyone in the homosexual community - but I think it _does_ apply to the acitivists. All of them.

cdor said...

Well put GW. By clicking the link you provided to Moran's site and reading the comments to his post, you will see my fairly exhaustive discussion with his mostly left of center followers. Although I am neither a Christian nor one of your two regular readers who would be offended by this post ( I must be the third regular reader who, by my minority statis, am naturally forgotten...don't I have an equal protection right to be remembered? ), one can readily see by my posts over there that we are in a very comfortable position of agreement.

One of the great values of Federalism is allowing the individual States to be breeding grounds, of sorts, for new ideas or societal changes, before casting on our society at large a proposition writ into law that might have terrible unforseen consequences. Thus guarding against the proverbial opening of Pandora's Box.

Societal wisdom regarding human behavior does change over time. It has changed with regards to attitudes towards homosexuality. In my mind that is good. But allow the continued slow evolution to develop naturally, not by the edict of judges.

Dinah Lord said...

Do you think those two in the picture are still together, GW?