Thursday, March 29, 2007

On Bigotry

I support gay marriage. And when I make that statement, let me be clear that to me, it's the same as saying: I support breathing. There's no argument that could suage me one way or another, no gray area in which I can reside, no compromise that would seem to me less than an expression of bigotry. I, for one, cannot wait for the day that the Supreme Court knocks down gay marriage bans as unconstitutional, thereby setting the precedent for equal access to marriage for all couples, regardless of their sexual make-up. I've heard the argument about "marriage" being between a man and a woman; usually, moderates will follow the statement with some point about a civil union for same-sex couples: the same content of marriage without the sticky icky mess of sullying "marriage" with homosexuality. Barak Obama (whom I admittedly heart, wholeheartedly) sums up the point most succinctly, as reported by Towleroad:

"Well, I think that 'marriage' has a religious connotation in this society, in
our culture, that makes it very difficult to disentangle from the civil aspects
of marriage. And as a consequence it's almost -- it would be extraordinarily
difficult and distracting to try to build a consensus around marriage for gays
and lesbians. What we can do is form civil unions that provide all the civil
rights that marriage entails to same sex couples. And that is something that I
have consistently been in favor of. And I think that the vast majority of
Americans don't want to see gay and lesbian couples discriminated against, when
it comes to hospital visitations and so on."
Yes, I agree that marriage has a religious connotation, as does the label. I also agree that it's difficult to build a consensus on the issue for this very reason. I have a radical proposal that will shock all who know me: no more 'marriage.'

If gay marriage cannot be sanctioned because marriage is a sacred institution with religious connotations, then it should not be the government's job to grant it. If civil unions will confer all the rights of heterosexual marriage, without the religious connotations, then everyone should be granted civil unions. If you want to be married, you can go to the representative of your deity/deities/goddesses/earth/Cthulu of choice and have him/her/zim/zir marry you. Remember, the original separation between Church and State was to protect the Church from the State, and not vice verse.

In the interest of keeping you informed on others' opinions, as well as my own endless stream of rants, please check out this panacea of opinions on the subject:

This gay old school conservative, whom I hate to love, but who makes me feel snuggly inside, who links to a legal blog, who give a lengthy refutation to this idiocy, which may be better summarized by Tempus Fugit, the only blogger on this subject with a sense of humor.

I don't know about you, but I need a nap. And a wife. Any takers?


Smeliana said...


Liberal Jew said...

I agree. Well said. Yet while I agree with the over all idea, Obama is right on the money with the rest of the country. We will never get more people to see Homosexuality as anything besides its literal biblical definition.

So therefore Civil Unions will be for GLBT folk while Hetros can get married; with all the same rights but different names.

I also want to get married. Very much actually. And a few months ago you wrote something about co-habitation prior to marriage as a good idea. Currently I live in such a situation. It is good because I know what makes my partner crazy and she knows what makes me crazy. It is like research into a long-term investment (of love and compainionship blah blah blah)

Therefore I propose for people to get their marriage benefits, they must remain married for at least two years. Make the sound investment.

In the mean time the increased taxes should go to education and tolerance awareness classes.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Also, I do not think there should be any financial incentive to getting married. Why is our tax code encouraging marriage?


Anonymous said...

When it comes to the US government I agree 100%. But lets remember why you're bringing this up now, the Conservative movement is not a secular government. There is no concept of civil rights outside of what is defined by halakha. Just because modern secular liberal morality says homosexuals should be treated equally does not mean that halakha needs to/can change to accomodate secular values.

El Gigante said...

I will gladly be your wife assuming the civil ceremony is carried out by Cthulu. He can help me break the bottle with his mammoth tentacle.

Rachel said...

I'll be your wife.

As long as we don't have to get married . . .

Annie said...

Harley- excuse me, but I thought that I was your wife. And now you are advertising for others to fill the role? We are so on the rocks.

LJ- I don't like the different names idea. It smacks too much of "seperate but equal." I agree with Harley that "civil marriages" should all just be "civil unions" and open to all.

Also, I'm not sure what post you are referring to, I think that cohabitation is not such a hot idea. But, like Harley, I'm a subjectivist, so if it works for you, that's great.

TR- I support the tax break for married/unioned couples because I believe, as our forefathers did, that the essential building block of this nation is the family, and that a strong family life encourages good citizenship and democratic participation.

Rachel- hands off.

Sarah said...

I agree with the no marraige idea--I have always wanted to have a Jewish wedding, and have never had any desire for a secular one, except for the whole benefits part...

I would like to see not civil unions per se, but rather, like we have in NY, domestic partnerships. I think the terminology is key here--union (at least to me) implies something romantic, but partnership could be any two people who fit the requirements (of living together x many years, etc.). It seems ridiculous to me that, for example, two roommates who have lived together for 10 years, share all expenses, have a joint account for said shared expenses, etc., don't have a right to the same things as married couples. Or domestically partnered couples.

In NYC at least, which has a large older population, this has been a huge problem with regards to live-in caretakers, some of whom live with their clients for years.

Liberal Jew said...

I might be miss understood. I think that we should get ride of legal marriage in favor of civil unions. I just do not believe this country is ready for such a move. Both marriage and homosexuality are viewed through what a majority of American's believe, conservative religions.

That being said, I want some hopah action sometime before I am 35.

Anonymous said...

"TR- I support the tax break for married/unioned couples because I believe, as our forefathers did, that the essential building block of this nation is the family, and that a strong family life encourages good citizenship and democratic participation."

Hmmmm...I respect your opinion, but I disagree in two parts. 1) I do not think that a "a strong family life" (whatever that means) is necessarily a societal good; and 2) even if it were a good, I do not think the government should be in the business of promoting it.


Jess said...

Point of interest:

A fundamentalist Christian leader has suggested that homosexuality may be biological. (This has created quite a stir in Christian quarters.) However, he says, it is still immoral, so it would be permissible for science to use gene therapy of some kind to prevent the sin of homosexuality. (Obviously drawing fire from liberal groups). Even though the evangelical party line is strongly against stem-cell research and abortion (in view of the sanctity of life, etc), that line can be easily crossed in the attempt to take out the gay gene. A friend's father appropriately notes in this case, "Anti-gay bigotry trumps every other supposed moral stance."

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