Friday, May 11, 2012

Must be something in the Water

Gotta love North Carolina.  One fine day I was driving from Charlotte to Greensboro and I saw this lovely sign on a church.  "PROCLAIM YOUR FAITH," it thundered. "KEEP YOUR DOUBTS TO YOURSELF."

Wow.  Kinda takes your breath away for a minute.

And it was these same North Carolinians who recently passed a law - the 30th such law in the country - modifying their State Constitution to ban gay marriage.

I'm asking you for the moment to ignore any feelings you have one way or the other on the matter.  Full disclosure, I'm a live-and-let-live guy myself, but whatever.  What 30 states have done is taken their Constitution - the document borne of the need for a recognized Supreme Law of the Land to protect its citizens from an over-aggressive government - and used it to strip rights from a group of people because of what they believe.  That's a 180° variance from the true value of that document, and that saddens me way more than the gay marriage issue per sé.

Now that we've established how awful it is to use the Constitution to strip rights away,  it's time to discuss the issue of gay marriage itself. Who still cares about this?  It's 2012, for the love of Buddha. For you to have any dog in this fight you either need to be gay, be the family of someone who's gay, or a goddamned party planner.  A bunch of fat white guys sitting around a legislative chamber looking to distract its citizens from issues of true import have no right to enact such a monstrously discriminatory law.

And hell, let's not forget that homosexuals vote, and they comprise between four and five percent of the population, depending who you talk to. If you don't think that 4% is a number worth fighting over, ask any politician that has ever courted the Jewish vote, which represents about 3% of the vote.

The whole thing bewilders me.  It's a discriminatory, stupid, time-wasting effort.  And one with little political upside: those lines have long been drawn. Coming out in favor of gay marriage, as did President Obama recently, was a brave choice and will shift the political landscape slightly,  but staying with the script doesn't change anything. The legislators that pushed this swill down the trough of politics won't make any new friends; at best it will solidify those they already have.

Seriously.  You anti-gay lawmakers have an opportunity here and now.  Society is experiencing a tipping-point when it comes to this issue: we straight folk are starting to feel apathy toward the whole thing and are wondering what the fuss is still all about. Make some new friends.  Here, I'll give you something face-saving you can say.  How about:

I personally believe that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, and optionally his slaves and his gun. But I do not believe that government is best served legislating this aspect of life; it is a matter best left to the religious institutions that sanctify marriage before God.  The civil act of marriage should be made available to all our citizens, especially those who love Jesus.

You can also salve your conscience by knowing it's the right thing to do, but I'm not sure to what extent you give a shit about that.

11 comments:

  1. Nice post, Gary. Well said.

    s.i.

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    1. Hey, thanks man! Welcome to the site, didn't know you read it. Stop by any time!

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  2. As I've gotten older I've grown more libertarian in my political views. I agree wholeheartedly that this kind of decision is just plain wrong. Don't try to force all churches to preform or recognize same sex marriages, but make them legal. This is one issue where I can be proud to be Iowan. "But the people have spoken!" Yeah...who cares. I bet if you took a vote in Mississippi in 1950 (heck probably still today) about banning interracial marriages it would probably pass. That doesn't mean that it's right in a country that purports to be the land of the free and all that.

    I'm personally fed up with the plutocracy that this country has become. I'm going to start my own political party called simply the "Vote Them All Out" party. Lets vote out every single incumbent and reset the whole thing.

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    1. I've observed that there are way-way-right Libertarians and way-way-left Libertarians. But they share their core philosophy of, basically, keep the roads paved and the schools open, and after that let the people do what they want if it doesn't hurt anyone. And if that were a cornerstone philosophy of our government, we'd be the most prosperous people in the world. Ah, well. It's too bad "Libertarian" seems to have become a code word for "political whack-job," it truly is.

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  3. I often forget how disgusting a perversion it is to use the constitution to codify discrimination. Thanks for the reminder.

    I look forward to the day when these laws are a shameful artifact of the past, sort of like miscegenation laws until the 1960s. When Obama was born in Hawaii, there were still 14 states in the US where his parents' marriage was illegal. But, since none of those laws were written into state constitutions, I'm afeared dismantling this constitutional discrimination will take more than a case before the supreme court.

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    1. Have hope, O Cranky one. The SCOTUS loves big cases like these, than can overturn a state constitution. Maybe someone (Grange, you listening, buddy?) will bring a thoughtful challenge to one of these laws and things will be set to rights.

      I have two sniff tests to determine if a law is just or not: when there's a law that says basically "X isn't/aren't allowed to do Y", replace X with Jews or Left-Handed people, and if the resultant law sounds fucking ridiculous then it probably is.

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  4. I agree with you completely Gary, and I'll add two points:

    1) Gay marriage was already illegal in NC, so this just made it "SUPER ILLEGAL!!!1eleven" Passing laws and especially constitutional amendments is expensive, so in a time when governments are laying off people and trying to conserve every nickel, this is just a shameful waste of money that accomplishes NOTHING.

    2) North Carolina is one of 17 states that had a constitutional amendment that made marriage between different races illegal until 1975. Forget the 60's, this was in my lifetime.

    My favorite quote on this topic is:

    Saying people shouldn't get married because your religion forbids it is like forbidding someone from eating donuts because you're on a diet.

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    1. Awesome quote, brother Duggs, and extra points for "super illegal."

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  5. I totally agree with you too Gary.. which is why I also agree with and like the idea of splitting the "Legal" portion of marriage having to do with states and laws with the ultra emotional church idea of marriage. Let the churches fight out if they want to allow marriage as part of their religion and religious views.. but for the point of laws, medical rights, child custody, and all of those kinds of issues you need a state sanctioned civil union.

    Also it is my opinion that the 3% of the Jewish vote so coveted is because of the financial backing that goes with that 3%... I could be wrong but that seems to make sense to me. Some groups you covet because of their numbers and others because of what they can do for you.

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