Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Because I care about more than just baking cookies

I try to keep politics away from this blog for many reasons. First, I didn't intend for this website to be an outlet for my political views. No matter how right I think I am about my views on abortion or the economy, there will always be someone out there who disagrees with me. And I respect that. Accordingly, I try not to shove my opinions down other people's throats and preach that my way is the right way. Secondly, I didn't want to turn this site into a forum for political discussions. Everyone is entitled to read a website at their leisure without feeling like they have to disagree with what's posted. This site was meant to entertain, not incite.

There are times, however, when I can't help but express my views. There are times when I read something in the newspaper or see something on TV that I find so morally wrong that I can't help but comment on it. And that urge to speak up is severely exaggerated when that something is not only socially irresponsible, but borderline unconstitutional. And that "something" is the state of California voting "yes" on Proposition 8.

I am not gay. I have but one member of my immediate family who is gay. I don't have any close friends who are gay. I don't frequent gay bars on a regular basis or attend parades. The issue of gay marriage minimally affects me in a personal way, if at all. Yet I can't help but find what happened in California on election day nothing short of reprehensible. A state that makes up 12% of this country's population essentially declared that a certain class of citizens had the right to marry, a right which they are fundamentally entitled to under our Constitution and need not be "given," and then took it away. In the wake of making such monumental history, on the same day that this country elected a black man as president, fifty-two perfect of California's population decided that it should not be legal for members of the same sex to marry each other.

I could spend HOURS talking about why this is wrong, why it's illegal, why it's disgusting, why this is exactly the reason I am wary of religion. But rather then argue my opinion by repeating all the points that have already been made by Bill Maher, Margaret Cho and Perez Hilton, I offer you the following comment by MSNBC news correspondant Keith Olbermann. He sums up my feelings on this issue perfectly.

Thanks, Steve

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Hi, just wanted to comment on your gay marriage piece. You seem very concerned about the plight of homosexuals and for this, you should be commended. However, if you would like to maybe here "the other side" I shall explain: I watched Mr. Olbermann's videoclip, and I think the issue is getting conflated with other, more controversial issues, to spark outrage at what happened in California. Gay marriage (or lack there of) is not about religion (some religions sanction it). It's also not about blacks not being permitted to get married (that was clearly against the Constitution-see below). The passage of Prop 8, whether you were for it or against it, was about Democracy.

The people of California chose to not redefine marriage from its 3000 year old origins as a union between a man and a woman. That's all. (The Colonial/Slavery time practice of not permitting miscegenation was not a part of the long tradition of marriage between a man and a woman, it was quite the contrary).

Unlike the gay marriage issue, race has long been defined as a suspect class, therefore any law based on race must be viewed with strict scrutiny. For whatever reason, sexual preference is intermediate scrutiny at best, therefore, laws targeting distinctions based on sexual preference do not have such a high hurdle to overcome as do laws based on race. (but you probably know all this)

You are correct when you say marriage is a fundamental right. And the reason why inter-racial marriages were ultimately permitted is because a black man could not marry any WOMAN he wanted, he could only marry black women, and vice versa. Therefore, laws against inter-racial marriage were unconstitutional.

As for homosexuals, which, as Mr. Olbermann pointed out, are a class, gay men ARE permitted to marry any WOMAN they want, and lesbians ARE permitted to marry any MAN they want. This was not the case with blacks, therefore the anti-miscegenation laws were struck down.

I'd like to leave you with a parting thought. Its a hypothetical, but I feel it is illustrative: If we permit people to marry others of the same sex, where does it stop? If we permit a deviation from the norm of man-woman unions, who are we to define marriage as just between two people? Wouldn't we also have to be supportive of those wanting plural marriage? And if so, why stop there, who are we to say marriage is between two PEOPLE? What if someone wants to marry their dog? Should sanction bestiality as well? As Mr. Olbermann said "who are we to define love?"

Marriage being comprised of a man and woman is analogous to water being comprised of H2O. Any other combination and it wouldn't be water. (H3o is hydro-chloric acid, no matter how bad someone may want it to be called water), and a union between two persons of the same sex is not marriage, no matter how mad we may want to call it that.

I sympathize with your cause, however, the best way to solve this problem, in light of the legal discussion above, is via legislation, not some court orating edicts from its ivory tower. What you saw with prop 8 in California was the people taking back their democracy from a judiciary gone wild; which had apparently usurped to much from the people.