Saturday, June 03, 2006

Are We Still Trying to Ban Gay Marriage?

And by "we", I mean President Bush.

"Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society," Bush said in his Saturday radio address. "Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society."

I’m no scholar of religion, and I’m certainly not regularly involved in debates concerning gay marriage (mostly because EVERYONE around me is supportive of same sex unions), but this seems like such a non-issue when we’ve got soldiers dying in Iraq, whole families being gunned down in Indiana, and Oprah hunting down pedophiles (Oprah really has nothing to do with the gay marriage issue, but it seems crazy to me that a TV personality is being more proactive than our government in stalking these predators).

If one were to break down the quote above, it’s so easy to argue against it.

"Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society,"

My Thoughts: I would like to see cited documentation as to where these “ages of experience” are coming from. We can’t say that opposite sex unions are more loving and successful for raising children. I’m not aware of any research that proves children are worse off having two mommies or two daddies. I do, however, know of plenty of same sex couples that have gone to great lengths to adopt children who needed homes. I’ve also watched these adoptive parents take care to ensure their kids are confident in who they are, aware of their family structure, and surrounded by like-minded kids at school. I’m sure this happens, but when’s the last time you saw a same sex couple being charged for child abuse, or going on a killing spree…or even was charged with sexually abusing children? Again, I’m sure this happens, but it’s not the majority of news stories out there.

I grew up in a loving and functional family with two parents that raised three children that are productive members of society. They are a good example of marriage working. But everyone knows that I could have just as likely come from a broken family…statistics give marriage less than a 50% chance these days. Would I have been better in a single parent home, or one with two loving parents, regardless of their genders?

"Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society."

My Thoughts: Marriages “natural roots” come from religion. We supposedly have a separation of church and state. Religious issues really shouldn’t have a bearing on social policy, although most in this administration have religious motivations behind them. When I think of “weakening this good influence on society”, it makes me think of domestic abuse (which also happens in same sex couples…but it’s also VERY common in opposite sex couples). Being married does not decrease a man/woman’s propensity towards violence on their partner. It doesn’t make them a better person. It also doesn’t make their relationship any more valid.

Bush said the amendment would fully protect marriage from being redefined, while leaving state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.

Well that’s very generous of our fearless leader, he’s letting states define legal arrangements…well there are already legal ways of protecting assets and partner rights, such as living wills and power of attorney. He just doesn’t get it.

I realize I’m not someone who’s personally affected by these laws, but if I were, this would feel really insulting. By saying, “would fully protect marriage from being redefined”, he makes it sound like it’s a club for the cool kids. Why is it so wrong for two men or two women to have their love legitimized? If it were truly an issue of “defining legal arrangements”, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. But the way this issue has been repeatedly presented seems as though Bush is threatened by acknowledging that same sex couples could ever begin to feel as deeply, or as committed as an opposite sex couple.

I’m hoping this agenda is stalled until he goes away. His presidency is a period where battles need to be carefully chosen…hopefully we have someone around the bend that will value all Americans, and the freedoms that are supposed to be available for us all…regardless of whether we live as he does or not.

6 Comments:

Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

I take a sociological view of the relevant religious texts.

For most of the history of the world, the human race was barely holding its own. Each generation replaced itself, but the world population wasn't growing; it was stable century after century after century.

Today we forget that fact because we face the danger of overpopulation and despoilation of the earth's resources.

When the human race was just holding its own, you wouldn't want very many people to form a same sex union. You'd encourage them to do their bit for the propagation of the species.

Whether the religious texts were actually inspired by God, or were just a matter of community survival, who can say? But it was prudent to outlaw same sex unions under those conditions.

For the same reason, religions tended to frown on masturbation and coitus interruptus. Better to declare (with Monty Python) that "every sperm is sacred".

I'm a Christian, as you know, but I believe some mores are specific to the time and place of their origin. Today society faces a different set of challenges, and we need to reconsider those mores.

In Canada, same sex marriage is legal, and I'm proud that our courts and our government took that step.

8:16 PM  
Blogger elanflux said...

Well you know where I stand on this issue….and I do believe it effects us all, regardless of sexual orientation. We are, in essence, being pushed into a box to be defined by someone else based on THEIR belief. (Which actually contradicts a religion they say they adhear to, I could be wrong about this, as I am not very religious.). This country is supposed to be free, yet the ‘Bushes” of the world want to tell us what to stand for, as Americans. They are telling the rest of the world who we are as a whole…it’s disgusting if you think about it.
I think, marriage is between two people, the meaning, to be decided by them. As far as marriage being sacred…it’s a joke to most ‘traditional’ couples. People have trivialized marriage; it has turned into a business partnership, a ploy for publicity, a drunken mistake and a teenager’s rebellion against their parents. I’m not saying this is the case with ALL marriages, but come on, is gay marriage really going to be the disillusion and fall of the sanctity of ‘traditional’ marriage???!!!!
And as far as the children…two people will make mistakes while raising kids…straight or otherwise. I don’t think is has a thing to do with who (they fell in love with) they have chosen to spend their lives with. People who think gay couples are more apt to abuse children are just ignorant and closed minded. People are people; if they are abusive, being gay isn’t going to elevate that tendency. Likewise, being straight isn’t going to alleviate it.


"Bush said the amendment would fully protect marriage from being redefined, while leaving state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage."
Wait a minute...isn't that exactly what they are trying to do, redefine marriage...I'm not really familiar with the actual definition of marriage,(I tried to research it, but it’s clouded with this debate) but doesn’t ‘amend’(alter, adjust. Revise, modify) mean to change….umm amend = redefining …???
And who the hell is he, or anyone else for that matter, to say what marriage means to someone??? It is a private issue, and is defined by the individuals who decide to commit. It’s really only their business. I’m sure the way my husband and I lead our lives is the polar opposite of some right wingers…yet it’s out choice.


"Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society,"
Here is a little …age and experience for ya….

In December of 1912, an amendment to the Constitution was introduced to abolish racial intermarriage:

“Intermarriage between negros or persons of color and Caucasians . . . within the United States . . . is forever prohibited.”
Umm yea……. Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society," ….except if the couple is interracial…



And isn’t it not for us to judge…by traditional religion???

AND why the hell is this a hot topic….I think it’s a ploy to divert our (short) attention from more important issues…and ya know what? It works.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I knew I could count on both of you to be on my side of the fence...although most of my friends and family are as well.

Elan, glad you brought up the legal issue of interacial marriage. While it used to be illegal, as our culture evolved, so did the laws pertaining to it.

In the case of gay marriage, we're actually moving backward as far as freedoms go. The rest of the world has been evolving longer than us...they were here first...but it's going to hurt our countries stability, as well as international politics to demonstrate we can't move forward as well.

Q, you Canadians are so darn liberal...it's a beautiful thing. I was raised Catholic, and many of the commandments were established out of necessity...don't eat meat on Friday...IT WILL BE ROTTEN BY THAT LATE IN THE WEEK AND YOU COULD DIE! There were some very valid reasons for encouraging straight marriages, but like you pointed out, those reasons are no longer relevant.

And I agree...this issue is to divert us away from what's really going on. Our president doesn't work (unless we're talking about on his ranch), he sucks at international relations, he's Amero-centric...and he's messing up the Iraq thing.

4:26 PM  
Blogger elanflux said...

George Bush is a cancer on America's beautiful face...

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you referring to the beautiful face of America that is chiseled into the Black Hills in S.D.? Or are you referring to the beautiful face that butchered the men, women and children at Waco or could it be the beautiful face that shot Randy Weaver's wife in her face at Ruby Ridge? The world is going to shit. We come into this place "labeled" something...race...creed...whatever. The point is, there is no point. Think about it, we dig rocks out of the earth, polish them and people pay thousands and millions for diamonds. What's the fucking point of that? Bush isn't responsible for stupid. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Just wait 'till next year. Whatever.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Duane Westhoff said...

As always, I enjoyed reading your blog, although this time I was surprised by the political tone. I do have to say that I appreciate your support of gay marriage. Speaking for myself, I don't know too many heterosexuals who are pro-equal marriage for all persons regardless of the genders of those involved. At least, I don't know many heterosexuals who are vocal about their support, and if we aren't vocal, it leads others to believe that no one holds those beliefs at all. So bravo.

8:50 PM  

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