Okay, let me start by saying that I am not trying to push an agenda here, but there is something that I actually do not understand about this debate. I have listened to people on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue speak, and while I do not agree with everything the pro side puts forth, I have an almost impossible time even understanding the anti side’s basic argument. (Fault mine, I assume.) It may sound like I am taking sides here, but honestly I really am only attempting to point out my own failings in being able to grasp both sides of this issue.
There is talk of activist judges and state’s rights and constitutional amendments, but over and over, like the drumbeat from Tusk, repeats that the reason for all of this hoopla is to protect the institution of marriage. I understand judges and rights and amendments, but I don’t get the protection angle. Is the institution of marriage in some danger? Is someone actually threatening it?
To me this argument sounds as reasonable as saying that if we allow people to wrap their feet in boxer shorts and call them shoes, then we will have destroyed the institution of shoes, and there will be nothing to stop them from running around with cats and dogs on their feet. (Ew.) But what does that mean? Let’s say the institution of shoes is destroyed. What then? Will normal shoes become unavailable for standard shoe-wearing folk? Doubtful. As long as people want regular old shoes for their feet there will be regular shoes.
In exactly the same way, I cannot work up any fervor about the threatened state of my own marriage when I consider two men in Massachusetts walking down the aisle. Nor do I understand how any future male/female couples will be affected by same. I really don’t get it.
Let’s say there was a test. Answer A or B.
A. I married my spouse because I love and respect him/her, and want to spend the rest of life in the glow of their love and friendship.
B. I married my spouse because I wanted to belong to a club that gays couldn’t join.
Because I do not understand this argument, this “test” is how I see the battle lines. It seems to me to be a contest of those who would be inclusive against those who would be divisive. Somehow this seems too simple to me, as though there is some huge piece of the puzzle I must be missing. Since I know I don’t understand the basic premise, this has to be the case.
How do you feel?
(Next time: Morality, Religion, and Politics in…What does this mean? Part 2