Archive for the ‘gay marriage’ Category
While our political culture continues its slow march down hyperbolic lane towards the upcoming election, another march continues.
So, congratulations to Maryland for passing marriage equality. The legislation now goes to Governor O’Malley, who sponsored the bill and will thus likely sign it. Maryland will become the 8th state in the Union to allow full equal marriage rights.
As an LA Times story highlights, it gets pretty hard to oppose gay marriage when one becomes familiar with and involved in the lives of gays and lesbians who are seeking only the same rights as straight couples. Sit down and look honestly at the opposition, and hey, minds can be changed.
A chance shake-up of Maryland House of Delegates seating assignments brought Republican Wade Kach face to face with gay couples who had come to make the case for a gay marriage law, and might have proved decisive in its final passage through the state’s General Assembly on Thursday.
In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.
“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.
A big and hearty congratulations to the Senate in the state of Washington this morning for passing legislation on marriage equality. The bill is expected to pass in the House and Governor Chris Gregoire has said that she will sign the bill when it reaches her desk.
So look for Washington to join the ranks of states recognizing equality. Washington would become the 7th to legalize gay marriage. The others are New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
Said Democratic Sen. Ed Murray:
Lawmakers who vote against gay marriage “are not, nor should they be accused of bigotry.”…
“Those of us who support this legislation are not, and we should not be accused of, undermining family life or religious freedom,” said Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has spearheaded past gay rights and domestic partnership laws in the state. “Marriage is how society says you are a family.”
Murray mentioned his partner of more than 20 years — Michael Shiosaki — as he told his Senate colleagues before the vote “regardless of how you vote on this bill, an invitation will be in the mail” to their future wedding.
Rick Santorum got booed in New Hampshire for pushing his belief that Gay Marriage is equal to Polygamy, an old and tired opinion that not only doesn’t logically follow from the debate, but that belittles real human relationships among gays and lesbians.
Andrew Sullivan responded to this, and I agree with him so emphatically that I am posting it verbatim. And I appreciate that Sullivan cuts straight to the point in the url address for his post: /rick-santorum-is-a-dick.html
That Santorum has regurgitated the polygamy point reveals, it seems to me, the weakness of his thinking on this issue. Gay people are not seeking the right to marry anyone. They are seeking the right merely to marry someone. Currently we are denied that basic civil right that every heterosexual takes completely for granted, in most states. The issue of polygamy is completely different and separate. Currently, no straight people have a right to a three-way marriage, let alone gay ones. I think there are very good social reasons for that, although it’s certainly worth debating. But it’s another debate. The only way Santorum’s argument works is with the premise that gays denied any right to marry are denied no right at all. They are not in the same category as heterosexuals, and their relationships, and the benefits they bring, are inherently inferior, indeed morally repugnant.
That’s Santorum’s view. It’s his view that private gay sex can and should be regulated by the government to prevent the evil of sodomy from destroying society. And sodomy, remember, means any non-procreative sex act: oral sex, masturbation and, worst of all, contraception: a deliberate flouting of natural law. If this is the position of the GOP, it is essentially turning itself into an irrelevance for the vast majority of those under 40, and hefty proportion of everyone above.
The boos are a harbinger. But they may turn to cheers, of course, in South Carolina.
Busy as a bee lately, but today is a historic, positive day for United States policy, and I wanted to take a minute to recognize.
Congratulations to President Obama and his administration, the United States Military, and to our nation as a whole for bringing about the repeal of the immoral policy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The policy ended at 12:01 this morning, and with it, one more systematic form of discrimination is removed from the US government.
It’s not the end, and the results of a repeal like this won’t all be positive. But the nation continues to move forward towards a more just and equal treatment of the gay and lesbian communities. And that’s only a good.
I’ve never posted about Rick Santorum. He’s never been of interest to me; he always seemed like another evangelical Politician capable of making speeches, pleasing the base, and infuriating Dan Savage. I’ve really got no ill will towards the man. But he has shown TRC something worth the ink: Leadership.
Finally, a politician in the United States has had the courage to stand up and declare that the livelihood of millions of Americans and untold families around the globe are due to the breakdown of the traditional family structure in America. This is leadership we haven’t seen since Mr. Falwell. Said Santorum:
Letting the family break down and in fact encouraging it and inciting more breakdown through this whole redefinition of marriage debate, and not supporting strong nuclear families and not supporting and standing up for the dignity of human life. Those lead to a society that’s broken. If you think that we can be a society that kills our own, and that disregards the family and the important role it plays, and doesn’t teach moral values and the important role of faith in the public square, and then expect people to be good, decent and moral when they behave economically, if you look at the root cause of the economic problems that we’re dealing with on Wall Street and Main Street I might add, from 2008, they were huge moral failings.
The unfortuante thing about comments like these (which are comments from a Presidential Candidate campaigning without a chance of being president, and I have been told are not important) is that if one were to slant them just a shade, most Americans would agree with them. As the Jason Linkins at Huff Po put it, it is indeed a moral failure that led to the collapse of the economy. But not the failings of gays or divorcees or pro-choice folks. You may think gays and divorcees and pro-choice folks are immoral, but they didn’t ruin the economy. It is true, though; moral failings are at the heart of this recession: the failings of capitalism, which are always tempting, became too tempting for our financial sector.
Mr. Santorum, you shouldn’t want to lead a nation if you think that the lifestyle of your citizens is driving the country into moral and societal failure. Because you are not going to stop gay people from being gay, and you aren’t going to make abortion illegal. It is, to put it mildly, unlikely that you will successfully find a way to restore the ‘nuclear family’ that has been romanticized as a the foundational structure of American lives, and thus restore the country’s moral standing back to where it was before the US started to turn from God (which it hasn’t).
Which is why TRC is posting about Santorum, and his presidential run. It always comes down to putting God where God doesn’t belong. Finished Santorum:
You can’t say that we’re gonna take morality out of the public square, morality out of our schools, God out of our schools, and then expect people to behave decently in a country that requires, capitalism requires some strong modicum of moral consciousness if it’s gonna be successful.
This is actually exactly what many of us expect, based on the laws and Constitution of the United States (except Texas apparently, where they’ve been teaching creation all along according to their governor). The very thing I expect is to have children learn to live as moral humans, thoughtful citizens, and willing participants in our society, all while keeping God out of our schools. Morality and God are fine in the public square. But God in school, in the United States, is unconstitutional. If you see Rick Perry, you should remind him, too.
The passage of the equal marriage law in New York this past Friday was a great day for the US, and it is exciting to see so many more Americans living with the right to marry, regardless of orientation. My enthusiasm for New York’s wonderful change is about as high as can be from a straight, married man living in St. Paul. That said, I wasn’t going to write about the NY gay marriage law here because there are others who have more intimate stories and better voices with which to celebrate this. I have decided rather to write a little about our government.
Today, after a convoluted series of linking from blog to story, I ended up reading an editorial in the USA Today by Maggie Gallagheris, who is the chairman of the board for the National Organization for Marriage. Obviously we are not going to see eye-to-eye, so I read her piece not planning to much engage in her argument, or at least, not planning to allow it to affect me. But it did anyways, when she said this:
Gay marriage is not an increase in liberty; it is a government takeover of an institution that government did not create and should not redefine. When the government endorses a lie about human nature, there will be consequences.
I don’t like this. I don’t like Ms. Gallagheris determining what is human nature nor what government should or should not do. Any good civics student knows that government does not make determinations about human nature (nor should anyone else, or any religion, or culture), nor does government endorse or oppose lies, or truths, about human nature. Government does operate within it, and tries to do its best to seek justice in society. Those societies, by the way, tend not to agree on what justice looks like, or what human nature is, or even the idea that there is a single thing that can be called human nature and defined, and thus lied about.
The government, especially the US gov’t, is not an arbiter of authority cramming “false equality” down the throats of unassuming Americans who are just hoping to avoid contact with the homosexuals. Instead, the government is quite literally the American people, and the people do the best we can, understanding the world the best we can from our limited perspective. Unfortunately, that means we don’t have the ultimate knowlegdes of human nature. For most, it means that if we see what looks like inequality, we try to fix it. And that means marriage equality.