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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On the Topic of Gay Marriage

This is a subject I have been reticent to address. And in light of the already overabundant, feverish yammering heard in regard to this topic, what is one more faint voice in the din going to change? With that said, however, I am going to proceed down that slippery slope and confront the issue of Gay Marriage.

Aside from the exceedingly obvious fact that pandering politicians who would probably stand little chance of being elected otherwise are using this hot-button issue to distract from genuine issues of concern, this government exists to enforce laws equally and fairly, without regard to the unique characteristics of its citizens, and to go about the business of managing civic infrastructure and security. Laws should not be created which address the specifics of any one group or faction of individuals. Blacks, whites, gays, heteros, Indians, Mexicans, Baptist or Hindu - all these and more should all be treated as equals by the government. This includes omitting racial, religious, or sexuality specific language from our laws, and most certainly, from the Constitution - whether its intention is to benefit or hinder any sect. Every law should be written concisely to address all citizens equally and fairly.

I truly believe that most decent people are more concerned with having comfortable lives, affordable health care and schools for their children, healthy food and water, properly maintained roads, safety in their own homes, and knowing where that $90,000 in bribe money came from than which two people may live together.

Marriage is traditionally a religious ceremony, while the civil union underlying marriage is of governmental concern. Thus, these dichotomies have become intertwined due to their common coincidence. The government should not pass laws specifically addressing the legality of which two individuals choose to spend their lives together, as long as all other legal requirements have been satisfied. If a specific religion has an objection to gay marriage, then it is up to that religion to dissuade its members from participating. No religion has the right to enforce its particular belief system upon the judiciary of this country.

I had a neighbor in Florida who loved pink flamingos - I thought they were tacky and wanted them removed from her lawn. Her house was yellow - I hate yellow houses. But it is not my right to dictate what she may place on her lawn nor what color she paints her home. I can either accept it, ignore it, or move. Nor is it my concern who she chooses to associate with. I opted to overlook her decor, and as it turns out she was a very nice person, albeit one with unusual tastes.

I was reared in a society that tends to be fearful of anything different. While I may have personally dismissed a modicum of these petty views, many of my peers did not. I can remember as late as 1987, whites in Forsyth County, Georgia were still beating and lynching blacks, and this behavior persists to this day in some communities. I can say without reservation that, collectively, whites have caused far more harm to me than blacks. Does that mean I should hate all whites? While I may harbor some lingering reservations along those lines, said prejudice would certainly result in an odd predicament considering the fact that I am straight, male, and white.

Passing new laws will not change anything. Gays will still exist, they will still live together, they will still have sex with one another. They cannot be exorcised from society with the stroke of a pen. You might as well acclimate to their presence, for no matter how you might wish otherwise, they are and have always been.

I cannot deny the underpinnings of bias which are present in my psyche - I feel uncomfortable seeing two same-sex partners kissing in public. But I am probably more disturbed by the proliferation of Phone-Porn and Girls Gone Wild advertisements on my television screen. And I certainly don't want to see children subjected to any kind of propaganda which attempts to distort their developing views - on any topic. But I have known many women, and a few men, who were gay. Most were perfectly pleasant, responsible people. They had the same hopes and dreams that everyone does. They simply prefer a different lifestyle. There is some evidence that genetics plays a part in their choice, although I tend to believe it is more psychological in nature. Either way, it is a consensual act between legal adults that harms no uninvolved parties - and certainly does not effect the performance of the government or the security of this nation.

I have, however, found anti-gay groups to be disagreeable, hate mongering media-whores looking for their moment in the sun. And by their actions, they are encouraging response and confrontation with gay rights groups which are then brought forth in defense. In essence, the anti-gay fascists are causing the very pro-gay demonstrations they deride. It is a self-feeding cycle of intolerant zeal that distracts from genuine issues of importance to us all. The failure of one group to exert its domination over another breeds ever increasing amounts of hostility and fear.

And I, for one, have had enough of both of these emotions.


Blogger down_not_out said...


You wrote, "Laws should not be created which address the specifics of any one group or faction of individuals."


Wed Jun 14, 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

Thanks! Additionally, it is insufficient to create well thought out laws, it is equally important that the judiciary apply these laws equitably. From what I've seen, this doesn't always happen.

Thu Jun 15, 01:32:00 PM  

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