By Mark David Blum, Esq.
Today November 15, 2008 is a national day to protest the passage of Prop 8 in California during the recent election. It is an event intended to draw the nation’s attention to Gay Rights. Blacks who voted in droves for Obama at the same time voted in droves against Gay Marriage rights and in support of Proposition #8. The whole idea seems silly. Let them suffer like the rest of us do.
Even our own sitting Vice President, Richard Cheney, ignores the rights of his own daughter. Gay rights and freedom including the issue of marriage have been dragged foursquare before the American public. The issue is before us because of Republican revulsion at States exercising their rights and determining the definition of marriage. To energize the crazed and uneducated and unenlightened, Mr. Bush and his team worked to assure passage of laws against recognizing equality of gays, against redefining marriage other than man/woman, and getting rid of “activist judges”.
If you want something about which to be irate, appalled, offended, and totally disgusted, ask why Mr. and Mrs. Cheney have steadfastly and adamantly refused to stand up for their daughter. Ask why they do not do all they can, like any parent, to assure their child social equality and freedom.
New York’s own Court of Appeals has said that, “Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.” If memory serves, these same descendants and their Church quieted Gallileo, believed that the earth was flat, proclaimed that dragons ruled the seas, and declared that White Anglo Europe was the heartbeat of humanity. Ours is a nation with the memory of a gypsy moth. Ask Mr. Korematsu.
Laws requiring marriage be defined as a ‘man/woman’ relationship are blatantly unconstitutional. Our nation is founded on principles of personal freedom and the liberty to live life as we choose. We expect to be free to speak, to express ourselves, to gather, and to believe (or not) in our respective god. These fundamental principles have held us together as a nation for more than 200 years.
Nationally, each election cycle, the TheoCons bring the question of Gay Marriage before the Courts and the voters. It is intended to drive conservative voters to the polls and was used successfully by Karl Rove in three straight national elections. The Right is always pushing for Federal and State constitutional commands that ‘marriage be solely a heterosexual union’. The Party of God seeks to make dominant the dogma of one religion while excluding and defiling the beliefs of many others. They reject 200 plus years of keeping religion from controlling government and instead, become more Taliban-esque in our construct.
There are churches in society who will marry non-traditional couples. As a matter of secular law, the State must recognize those marriages. We owe it to all the People of this nation to treat all of us the same and to make sure that whom you love does not have to withstand the religious scrutiny of the few.
Limiting marriage to a man and a woman is a religious belief. It is one founded in Christianity and for so very many years has become the norm. Worse, it has wormed its way into civil law in that no State presently sanctions marriage for other than one man and one woman. States like Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have created a new legal animal called ‘civil unions’ that give marriage-like rights and benefits to non-heterosexual couples. But, the concept of a civil union misses the main point of the issue. “Separate but Equal” is a major social policy failure.
The bottom line is that any attempt to distinguish between heterosexual and gay marriage is one based on religious doctrine and not objective law. Our own State does not preclude gay marriage and at best, the Domestic Relations Law is ambiguous.
Society has no interest in assuring that marriage remains a heterosexual relationship. We cannot succumb to claims that marriage is about procreation when we tolerate couples to be legally married who do not intend to have children, who cannot have children, or who are post-childbearing. There is also no basis that marriage has to be between man and woman “because that is the way it has always been done” when we live in a world where slavery, pedophilia, and imperialism were likewise once the norms.
This nation is best served when its People are happy and at peace. A couple, of any construct, who have pledged their love and mutual support for each other “til death do them part” will be more productive and less of a burden on all of us. We owe it to ourselves and the legacy we leave for future generations to work toward this goal. Anything less constitutes repression and oppression based on religious theory.
Let us be the great People that we are. Let us learn to accept and tolerate those who do not think or live as we do. We are a pluralistic nation and as such, there has to be room for more than one idea. My idea is that we allow anybody to get married to anyone they choose. From those unions, our nation will thrive and grow and find enlightenment.
Oh, and of course, with Gay Marriage ... comes Gay Divorce ... and that is always good for business.