Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gay Marriage Is All About Values

Cross-Posted on the Moderate Republican:

One thing I've been thinking about was a letter to the editor that showed up in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune. It's an argument that I hear all the time concerning gay marriage. I used to agree with it, but I don't anymore. The impetus of this is a column written by the Strib's token conservative columnist, Katherine Kersten (being center-right in my politics, I like to see conservative writers, but I perfer ones with brains. Ms. Kersten doesn't have one. Or a heart for that matter) that talks about how Canada is sliding towards Gommorah because of it's support for gay marriage. Whenever people start talking about gay marriage, you will hear an argument from our side. Here's an example:

Katherine Kersten states that the proposal to preserve same-sex marriage will be one of the biggest issues of the next legislative session. If so, shame on us.

We have children without health care, traffic congestion, working parents unable to afford housing, and underfunded schools. If we allow ourselves to be diverted and avoid the real moral issues before our state, how can we kneel in prayer before the God who calls us to lives of justice and compassion?


Now, there was a time in my life that I would have agreed with this writer. But I don't anymore. Why? Because what this person is saying basically is that gay marriage doesn't matter. It isn't a moral issue. We have more important things do deal with than two guys getting hitched. The message this line of thinking sends is that gay marriage isn't important. If we are saying that to the general public, you know what happens? The general public will listen.

The fact is gay marriage does matter. It matters to millions of gay Americans who have or are intending to have a life partner, someone to share their lives with. It matters when one person in gay couple gets sick and the other person can't visit because he's not a legal relative in the eyes of the state. It happens when one partner can't get the other's social security benefits when the other one dies. It matters.

A few weeks back, Log Cabin President Pat Guerriero was in town. My friend and fellow Republican, Mark, was able to get him on a local radio station that has a lot of conservative programming. He shared a story of two gay men in Vermont who have been partnered for 50 years. One served his country in war. The other was a teacher. They are both in their 80s. One is very ill and will die soon and as it stands now, the surviving spouse won't get the dying man's social security benefits.

That is a moral issue. These two men have given of themselves to help others and this is how society treats them.

The anti-gay crowd have one thing right about this issue. They know it matters and will do what it takes to stop gays from marrying and hopefully put us back in the closet. Why are we and our allies so scared to deal with this honestly and say this is about values and morals? How can one be moral and deny people things like seeing a sick partner?

Maybe it's easier for me because I'm somewhat more conservative, but values do matter. Not the one that the religious right spouts, but the values my parents taught me about being kind to people and tolerant of others.

I think we need to start talking about values. Getting married is a value. It matters and it's important. We need to start acting like it is.

12 Comments:

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

Bravo!

Thank you. Very well written. I would love to marry my partner of 31 years. We are still working on that. We live in Connecticut and can now (as of Oct. 1st) get a civil union. But we aren't going to because we feel that it gives us second class citizenship. The civil union would give us "most" of the rights and priviledges of marriage, but when we leave Connecticut, it goes away. What kind of marriage is that. To add to that, in the civil union bill itself, is a Defense of Marriage clause that defines "marriage" as "one man and one woman". In other words, by signing that civil union, you are stating that you aren't even a marriage.

So, we keep hoping. And we are getting older and are scared as hell at what is ahead of us in terms of hospital visitation and the like. It's as if most people don't even care.

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gays are pushing the issue through the courts as we speak, that is why amendments are paramount now and not later. Massachusettes has already show this. Nice talking point tho, I've only heard that one about a million times and no one gives it any credit.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Brava Amin said...

I propose the following law in every state:The state shall recognize the civil union of any two consenting individuals who wish to enter into such an agreement, which shall afford them the legal protections and rights associated with a next-of-kin relation. Further, the term marriage shall not be used by any governmental body and/or document within this State.Civil Unions belong to the state; marriage should be left up to the church. This is a solution that respects people and their religion as well as the rights of people. It is tolerant and demanding of society at the same time. It is a drastic, but needed, change.

And Amin Knows Best.

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

To all of you at the Yellow Line--
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
AubreyJ.........

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is moral relativism at its finest. Why should we choose to limit marriage to two consenting individuals, as brava amin, suggests? Isn't two individuals overly limiting? What if three or more people are in love with each other and want to be married?

And why does it need to be two adults? What about a 17 year old? Shouldn't they be able to make sexual decisions for themselves? How about a 12 year old?

And if a person feels strongly about their dog, why shouldn't they be allowed to marry their dog?

Gay marriage is all about values. And without values, anything goes.

 
At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, it isn't the question of others not caring for you, but rather, the fact that we do care about you.

It is good to know that someone loves you. But to change the rules of God and society because it would make you feel better is not justifiable.

Your objection to civil unions indicates that you are not interested in merely protecting your interests in the area of adoption, or healthcare, or inheritance, but to force that others accept you upon your terms.

The problem with this is that my comments must be viewed as hate speech by others, because I disagree with you. Why? Because if practicing homosexuals can silence others, they do not have to think about what is wrong with a homosexual lifestyle.

Long before AIDS, the life expectancy of gays was substantially shorter than the population at large. The lifestyle has higher rates of suicide, is almost certain to include drug use and the problems associated with this, and a substantially greater frequency of psychological problems. Unfortunately, many believe that silence about the problems of acting against God's will can make life better. Sorry, but the results do not change.

God bless!

 
At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

Anonymous:

Have you considered that the higher incidents of suicide and drug use is not due to being gay but is instead due to the derision and spite directed towards homosexuals? Homosexuality is neither an afront to God or society. But those who would condemn homosexuality ARE commiting an afront to God and society.

 
At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

Secondly, those who would be so ignorant as to compare homosexual marriage to beastiality are they themselves committing the gravest form of moral relativism. All other "slippery slope" forms of marriage mentioned are, by their nature, coercive and exploitative. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, are based on mutual love. The failure to see that distinction (or to purposefully obscure it) is flat out wrong.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger AJ Lynch said...

Why haven't the Dems nor the gays brought up this social security inequity? Because they are afraid it would lead to real change to a bad and corrupt govt program. And the Dems have chosen to hang their hats on protecting it at all costs.

Btw, this impacts single people as well....I recommend every person have the right to designate a beneficiary. Agree?

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Sam Nicolas said...

Why not gay marriage? Because marriage has its foundation in religion - not any specific religion, but just religion in general. Such marriage is only between a man and a woman. The people have recognized the importance of marriage in our society, and wish to continue to promote it. Promoting "gay marriage" or "plural marraige" or any other kind or marraige does so to the detriment of traditional marriage, and accordingly, when that is recognized, the majority of people should vote for traditional marraige and against alternative marriages. It isn't a matter of slippery slopes. The issue simply must be understood from the perspective of what is good for society in general. We can resolve ALL "rights" issues, such as inheritance and hospital visits and so forth COMPLETELY, without creating alternative marriages. Realizing this, it becomes quite appparent that the advocates for gay marriage are not so much in favor of marriage, but opposed to traditional marriage and especially to the source of the same, religion, which condemns their homosexual lifestyle as sinful, godless, unholy, and unnatural. On the other hand, traditional marriage provides relationships in society that are generally beneficial to individuals and the society in general, allowing for the continuation of our society.

Whereas, I for one, join George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in believing that the nation's future ability to remain free and prosperous is truly dependant on the nation's continued reverence for God and his commandments, I will not hesitate to condemn the practice of homosexuality while extending sympathy to those few (less than a hundredth percent (.0073) of the population) who choose to live in socially isolating relationships filled with fear of HIV/AIDs and other diseases or suffering from such.

 
At 1:48 AM, Blogger Ken said...

I would point this comment at all members of this well spoken debate: Change happens. I do not believe that Same sex unions should bow to the Religious right when they speak of marriages as a man and woman. The idea of what Christianity is has changed over the last couple thousand years.
Do not consider your selves friends of God and Jesus when you condemn and judge your fellow man. I believe it is stated in the Bible, which I do not see as the only source of morality,"let he who has not sinned cast the first stone" means "if you have not sinned, go ahead and judge those who have". Show me "He who has not sinned."
I would also like to point out that homosexuals are not the only people who suffer from HIV and AIDS. What about the babies who have contracted the disease from their mothers, or Ryan White who contracted it from a needle, or the many heterosexual Africans?
Homosexuallity is not the downfall of our society. In fact, I believe that closed minded Christian conservatives will burn our Rome. Keep up this intollerance and you shall face the rath of God on judgement day. You need to bow on your knees and pray, then write to your representative to let him or her know that anti-gay marriage legislation will definately pave your road to eternal Hell-fire.
I hope you all had Merry Christmas and enjoy a wonderful New Year!

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Serena said...

I couldn't of said it better, great read!

 

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