Friday, November 07, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage

One not-entirely-overlooked aspect of this election was the number of initiatives to block same-sex marriage in several states, including California.

For the record, I do oppose it on religious grounds, just like our President-elect. I don't necessarily view it as any worse a sin than adultery, for example, but it is a sin none-the-less. And until someone can prove to me that there is no God, I intend to continue viewing it that way. And therefore I'm opposed to anything that would encourage and normalize sin.

That said, I also oppose it on political grounds. While many proponents may not intend such consequences, the "progress" on that front so far has not just opened up marriage to gay couples, but has also resulted in the government telling religions what they can and can't do. Such laws have already resulted in religious-oriented adoption agencies closing down rather than be forced to adopt children to same-sex couples. It's only a matter of time before similar efforts result in churches being forced to accept and even perform same-sex marriages.

That is completely wrong, if not unconstitutional. If someone sued an adoption agency that only dealt in Asian children to force them to accept children of other ethnicity I'm sure it would raise an uproar. So why can't an agency have control over which parents are suitable for the children they are helping?

Why can a woman choose to end the life of her baby but not have control over what kind of upbringing her child will receive if she gives it up for adoption? That doesn't make any sense.

And how can you force a church to recognize or perform an act it views as sinful, especially when there are other options available? I'm sure they could find a church that would perform the marriage. Why force one particular one to do it?

How is allowing prayer in school unacceptable while forcing same-sex marriages on a church acceptable? Where does freedom of religion end and freedom from religion begin? And vice versa?

From a strictly sectarian, political view I could accept gay marriage so long as it was never used as a lever to force churches into accepting something they view as unacceptable. But since not only can no one guarantee that it would not be used in that way, but actually IS being used that way, I have to say no. They're forcing me to say "not one inch" when I normally might have been willing to grant an inch or two.

Glenn Greenwald feels that the recent defeats are wrong, and that the new administration needs to respond by overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. That's his perogative, I suppose. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were him, though. The democrats are perfectly fine using the individual desires of special interest groups like the gays to get into office, but not so good about actually delivering on their promises once there.

After all, once you've lost your lever for controlling that particular group, then what are you going to do? You might very well lose them to your opposition. Instead, if they can keep putting them off indefinitely while acting sympathetic, they can sew up that voting block for years to come.

One last point. California was an interesting case. The people of California already voted against same-sex marriage once--and quite strongly. That vote was overturned by legal challenge. So Californians expressed their will again. No same-sex marriage.

The homosexuals of California do not seem to understand that when you live in a democracy you sometimes have to accept that the majority do not want something you want. Live with it. The majority elected Obama. I'm living with it. I'm not looking around for a judge to overturn the election.

What if the situation were reversed? What if the first time California had approved gay marriage? And what if the judiciary then overturned that decision? Would you accept the ruling then? You can't have it both ways. Either the voice of the people trumps all or it does not.

Based on the lower margin of approval this time around, I suspect it's only a matter of time before California accepts gay marriage. I'm sure its proponents will view it as some grand, wonderful evidence of right prevailing over prejudice and hate. But you know what? Someday the shoe will be on the other foot. Something they believe is immoral and a threat to their way of life will be imposed on them in the same manner.

Whatever mechanism you use for getting your way can and will be used by someone else to get theirs. If you believe that people of religion should sit down, shut up, and stay out of your way, then why didn't you sit down, shut up, and stay out of the way when we went to war in Iraq? Or banned government funding of stem cell research? Or re-elected George Bush?

You can't have it both ways. Our system of government allows for opposition on any and every issue. Sometimes you'll get what you want. Sometimes the answer is no. It's not perfect, but it's the best we've got. If you don't support that system it will be replaced by something else. You may find you like that one even less.

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