51-Night of 1,000 Veils

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.

—or—

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

8 Responses to 51-Night of 1,000 Veils

  1. I totally agree! I don’t see any point to exclusion–people will make of it what they will, as they do with the “sanctioned” format of conventional marriages-some people giving a serious effort and approach and others doing it for a variety of reasons or non-reasons that may or may not hold up. Why shouldn’t gay and lesbian couples be allowed the same luxury of attempt? If conventional marriage is “threatened” by this, then it is none too healthy to begin with and banning others from attempting any approximation of the same in their own way won’t alter that. If people don’t get it that marriage is a continual ongoing everyday decision to “BE MARRIED” and to practice a commitment, then legislation against or for any measure of practice doesn’t matter–those people will or won’t act in accordance with that concept with or without the paper. The paper part is about the legal practices of this country, and prohibiting loved ones from taking care of financial health (vital to ANY good partnership) is truly criminal, not the alternative lifestyles.

  2. The reason that most people *I* know are against the legalization of gay marriage is the worry that it then may give the government the ability to meddle in religious affairs. If same-sex marriage becomes a “right,” then denying that “right” is unconstitutional and can lead to unfortunate repercussions for those who believe that homosexuality is a sin. The big issue here is tax-exempt status. Many churches and religious charitable organizations would be unable to function if they lose their tax exempt status — which the government can and has revoked in the past when it felt the need to do so. This would effectively shut those organizations down for believing contrary to what the state says is acceptable.

    Would this actually happen? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I don’t know. Governments with a lot of power rarely use it well. And perhaps there’s more to the issue that I don’t understand. But this, at least, is one of the explanations *I* have encountered.

    • It is a fallacious argument. No religion is required to be “affirmative Action”. It is a Private enterprise, not a public one, regardless of tax status.

      The Roman Catholic Church forbids Homosexuality in it’s participants. only few Protestant churches allow Gays, and Most of the Islamic religions i have been exposed to feel the same way. I don’t know what far eastern religions teach about Homosexuality.

      Since being a gay member in these churches is against the rules already, no legalization or recognition by secular authorities can force these churches to perform ceremonies for non-members, or, for that matter, on folks who have been members but were excommunicated/expelled/uninvited.

      There have been, and continue to be, religions that preach a select few will be saved, so they are the membership, but everyone else is excluded. Again, Secular Law cannot affect this premise, or else the separation of church & state is invalidated.

      All Praise to the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

      Discordia!

  3. That is a real possibility. I am possibly a bit of a hard-liner here though as I do not believe churches should have tax-exempt status anyway. They are businesses, they are employers, and the people at the top get rich. Seems to me like they’re just like everyone else.

    • Oh, I dunno. The pastors of the megachurches (*cough*Joel Osteen*cough*) certainly tend to get wealthy on the contributions of others. I’m not too fond of them myself. But then again, your average pastor is rarely a wealthy man, in my experience.

      But yeah, as far as I’m concerned, the only possibly legitimate reason for being against gay marriage is that it might then give the government power over religious affairs. Yes, I believe homosexuality is a sin, but as you pointed out in another post, that hardly counts when we’re dealing with the supposedly unbiased laws of this country.

  4. This may be a completely wrong way of looking at it, but with the whole separation of church and state thing, it seems to me that the legal institution shouldn’t be called marriage at all. Like, people should go to a church to get married – and let the individual churches decide if they want to perform that ceremony – and then file for a domestic partnership with the government, regardless of the gender of the people involved, in order to get the rights and protections currently granted legally married individuals. I mean, marriage as a legal institution was initially setup so that the government could recognize the marital status of people regardless of the church that performed the ceremony. By that logic, it really shouldn’t matter what gender the people involved are – if they get married in a church, they should be able to have that marriage recognized by the government. What we have now in a lot of places is the exact opposite – a church could marry two people, but because of their genders they can’t get that recognition from the government and the legal protections (like the right to see each other during emergencies in the hospital) that accompany it. Which just strikes me as counter intuitive and silly.

  5. Part of the problem with the churches is they go to extremes and misinterpret things.

    There is actually no place where Lesbianism is wrong at all in the bible (I can’t speak of the specifics of the Qoran), nor is Homosexuality for that matter… only Sodomy is forbidden and that is for all couples be they male/male, male/female, female/male, female/female, herm/herm, female/herm, herm/female, male/herm, herm/male, or googlesplurch/norgbottog. The literal statement that is misused is that a man should not lay down with a man as he would a woman… well… 1) Homosexuals do not have sex in the same fashion/positions as heterosexuals, so that is impossible… 2) a Homosexual would not lay down with someone of the opposite sex anyway so they can never be laying down with someone of the same sex as they would someone of the opposite sex, period, anyway.

    As for the governments rulings, well that is retarded, because it is by definition a violation of separation of church and state, since they’re ruling on something that was initially a jurisdiction of the religious establishments. Now, if they want to make it illegal for Homosexual marriages to be performed by a non-religious establishment personages (Ships’ Captains in US Waters, Justice of the Peaces, Judges, duly appointed representatives of the government, etc.) then that is fine, but no matter what, if the union is performed, it should be legal. Heck, technically if two people live together for a sufficient number of years they have a common law marriage/common law union and are allotted the same rights, benefits, responsibilities, and obligations of a married couple, so if ‘Frankie’ and ‘Billie’ spend enough time together does it matter if they the same gender or two different genders? (Dare anyone to guess which is male and which is female in my named couple… I can tell you this… you can never guess correctly… because they are merely a pair of ambiguous names I chose so they can be Schroedinger’s United Couple… until the ceremony is complete they can be any, all, and none of the possible and impossible gender pairings simultaneously… from all possible realities, planets, planes of existence, and racial/species origins)
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