Want to protect marriage? Ban smart phones, not gay marriage. Congrats NY.
There are some controversial issues where I understand the passion on both sides. Gay marriage is one where the “against” side of the argument completely eludes me. I believe it was Bill Maher who said “I was against gay marriage until I found out it was optional.” That pretty much sums up my position. I’m very confident I won’t participate in one myself, but I think marriage is a basic human right that all should share. In the case of race, the supreme court agreed in Loving v. Virginia:
Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…
I have heard vague arguments about “undermining traditional marriage”. My marriage is incredibly important to me; along with my children, it is the most important thing in my life. Naturally I am very concerned about anything that might undermine it. Happily as more and more states are legalizing gay marriage, I have been unable to detect any changes in my marriage related to those laws. If anyone has seen their marriage weakened by the legalization of marriage for others, please share your story.
In the case of my marriage, the most threatening recent development has been the smart phone. I have an annoying habit of checking my email too often when I’m at home. My wife correctly says it makes me less present with the family. Forty states have passed laws banning gay marriage, and thirty four states have laws which prohibit drivers from texting. If the government were truly interested in defending marriage, there would be a federal law prohibiting folks from checking email on their smart phones at the dinner table or in bed.
The other argument is about a slippery slope. I generally am not a fan of “slippery slope” arguments: the question at issue is whether two adults in a committed relationship should be able to marry, and I say yes to that question. To say that the next step is to allow, for example, marriages between adults and children is offensive and inaccurate: offensive to equate consensual adult relationships with the exploitation of children, and inaccurate because in point of fact in 2002, sixty girls aged fourteen were married in the state of Texas alone.
My other issue with this particular slippery slope argument is that there’s a slippery slope in the other direction. Since the other side has broadened the argument, let me try: if two men or two women can’t get married, what’s to stop the government from regulating, for example, the right of post-menopausal women to marry, or regulating (again) the right of people to marry outside their ethnic group (which some states maintained laws against until 2000, despite a 1967 supreme court case invalidating those laws).
A little more history here: Mildred and Richard Loving (yes, they really were the “Loving family”) were married in 1958 in the District of Columbia, despite being of different races. After their return home to Virginia, police entered their home, found them in bed together and arrested them. They were sentenced to a year in prison, but the sentence was suspended on condition of them leaving Virginia. In the decision, judge Leon Bazile wrote:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Less than 50 years after that decision in a Virginia court, Barack Obama carried the state of Virginia in the 2008 presidential election. As a society, we no longer accept discrimination against women, blacks or jews. Its time to stop accepting discrimination against gays.