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.