Thursday, June 21, 2007

When it comes to Same-Sex Marriage, let's be Civil.

Legislators here in Massachusetts, the only state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, have struck down a proposed amendment, banning same-sex marriage, from appearing on the 2008 ballot.

While same-sex marriage has been legal here for the past three years it is still a hotly contested issue. For some, the issue is about civil rights, for others its an assault on tradition, morals, and religion. Many of those against say that would support the idea of a 'civil union' but not a marriage because by tradition a marriage is between a man and a woman and that the act of marriage is religious in origin.

Personally, I do not object to gay marriage. It does not offend me. I don't believe that it represents a breakdown in morals or the erosion of the family unit. A union formed by two consenting, caring, loving adults is, in my eyes valid, marriage or not. Same-sex marriage simply provides the same benefits, rights, and protections afforded to a 'traditional' married couple. A same-sex couple could probably achieve most of these benefits and protections on their own through the use of various legal procedures and tools but why should they have to?

Listening to talk radio I have heard the most hateful, prejudecd commentary and almost in every instance a callers objections boils down to religious beliefs. Set the religious arguments aside, we have the right of religious freedom, even if that includes no religion at all and laws that govern the people of this nation should not be implemented because of what 'God' says.

Still, if the benefits and privileges of marriage can be secured for same-sex couples by simply changing the license to read 'Civil Union' then I say let's put the debate behind us and embrace civil unions!

But, let's embrace them for everyone. If the argument against is tradition and religion, let Massachusetts be the first state to say "civil unions for everyone!"

It's perfect everyone is treated equally and same-sex partners or traditional couples who want to get married can seek the services of a religious institute.


Roger Williams said...

It's all about the process, not the outcome. You may recall that the state legislature tried to run an end game around the Constitutional process by killing the ballot petition in committee instead of voting on it. The State Supreme Court made them put it to a vote, which they finally did after god knows how many delays. People in Massachusetts - and any state, really - have a right to pass whatever laws they like, based on whatever logic they like. The courts will ultimately uphold or strike down whichever ones do not pass constitutional muster. As long as the process is intact, the people win whatever the result.

Lefty said...

I actually had this conversation with a mutual acquaintance and argued precisely that point!

There is a system in place and to bypass it takes away our voice in government.

The problem is today that voice isn't representative of the people, just the people willing to vote! I really believe that if you could get a majority to vote a ban on same-sex marriage would be easily defeated but it really would come down to those with a personal interest and those who care enough about the process.


Dr. Momentum said...

That's what we get for having a legislature of nobles who inherited their seats from their fathers and their father's fathers. If only we could vote on who represents us! ;-)

In any case, I agree that the solution is to get government out of the marriage business altogether. All civil marriages become civil unions and let churches decide who is "married" in their eyes.

In truth, this is basically what is happening in MA, except for the one word "marriage." The government doesn't tell any church to accept any marriage.

Why won't your proposal work? Too reasonable.