Are we missing the important questions on gay marriage?

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Which would be better?

Poll ended at Tue Mar 09, 2004 2:45 pm

five to ten more years with no legal recognition whatsoever for same-sex couples followed by full marriage rights
several decades of chipping away at the barriers between marriage and second class civil unions
Total votes: 8

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Are we missing the important questions on gay marriage?

Postby roguequijote » Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:45 pm

Personally, I think that the best response to 9-11 is to say that the less influence religion has on law, education or politicians, the better. Bin Ladin, Hitler and Ashcroft have virtually nothing in common, but each has demonstrated a devotion to absolutist principles frequently clothed in language of religion. Without a commitment to devout secularism, I think the pendulum swing too often pushes government toward authoritarian or intolerant tendencies. I think the world has reached a point where the long-term prognosis for religion is that it is never likely to do more good than harm. Without religious underpinnings, most arguments favoring special privileges for mixed-sex couples fall apart. (Frankly, I think that weddings and funerals are the only times many people turn to clergy at all, and people advocating religion are afraid of losing their last shreds of importance or legitimacy.)

The trouble is that my opinion is the minority opinion. San Francisco, Boston, New York and a few other places are blessed with sizable, visible communities of people deviating from the straight-and-narrow tradition. Many smaller cities and rural areas live in a much more conventional world. A sizeable chunk of U.S. voters still live outside the big cities. Many big-city dwellers came from smaller cities or rural areas and they often carry the older value system. Even people who were born and raised in the cities sometimes subscribe to anachronistic views on same-sex relationships. Even our judicial system puts heavy emphasis on consistency with the past. As adamantly as I disagree with the establishment�s party line, I have to concede its entrenched momentum in our democratic system.

I want to ask two questions in this thread: How do we convince the hoards of traditionalists that this radical change is important enough that we have to overturn centuries of precedent while simultaneously convincing them that the change is not so big as to undermine the precious establishment? Which would be better: five to ten more years with no legal recognition whatsoever for same-sex couples followed by full marriage rights or several decades of chipping away at the barriers between marriage and second class civil unions?

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Postby lefty » Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:42 pm

As a gay man with six married siblings, I fail to see why they
should enjoy benefits that I cannot. They feel the same way, as
do my parents. I was raised in a traditional protestant home by
parents who have now been married nearly fifty years. I have a
respect for marriage when it is a testament to honor, love and
commitment-when it is a way of being as opposed to a word for a
ceremony. Two men or two women are certainly as capable of that
that as one man and one woman. I mention my upbringing because it
shows that my sexual orientation is not the result of anything that
my parents did wrong-or anything they did differently in raising me
than the others.

There are some that say gays wanting the right of marriage is about
money. I don't think so-in most cases. Most gay couples I know are
not in a situation where they cannot afford health care or their taxes,
etc. But surely there are some that can't, and they should be afforded the
same "breaks" and opportunities their heterosexual counterparts enjoy.

For most, I don't think it is really a matter of validation, either. We
have become successful, productive and well-adjusted citizens without such public validation of our "lifestyle" or relationships.

So what that leaves is the issue of equal rights, that which we as American citizens-gay, straight, black, white or purple-have come to, and should, expect.

This is why the idea of supporting civil unions , but not marriage, does not
sit well with me. The only arguments I have heard for that involves
preserving the sanctitiy of marriage (crap) or traditional family values-defined by whom? So, civil unions are a compromise for the spineless politicians (including both forerunners for the Democratic nomination, unfortunately) who want to appease some of their constituents while doing damage control with the others.

The time has come for a just resolution to this issue. Referring to the survey, I hope it doesn't take 5 to 10 years, but if it does and the result is equal treatment for all married persons, then I think it is worth the wait and the struggle.

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Postby NathanAllen » Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:08 pm

Civil Unions are just another way of saying "Seperate but equal."

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