On debating gay marraige…

So I have had the last few decades of my life to really kick this debate around in my head.  I’ve never been one to voice much more of an opinion on the matter than “who cares who marries who?”  Over the years, I’ve become more aware of the root of the debate, and the tragic flaws that it holds for the conservative people who wish to “protect” that holy matrimony.

First off, please understand that I have no desire to cause outrage to anyone on this subject, especially those who take the time to read my blog.  I have no personal vested interest in either side prevailing to be quite honest, but I am a pretty firm supporter of the pursuit of happiness.  In that, I would honestly fall on the side of support for gay marriage.  Fortunately my personal opinion isn’t what I’m trying to illuminate here, so I digress.

I see two sides to this debate.  When I say sides, I mean those who have real motivation and vested personal interest in the question at hand. 

The first is that of gay marriage supporters.  The primary arguments for this side usually revolve around the fair treatment and opportunity of all.  The GLBTQ community argues for the same rights and recognition in legal matters for themselves that is given to straight couples.  They feel that gay couples deserve the same tax breaks, insurance coverage, and official recognition as anyone else.  This is the major motive for this side of the fence.  It’s not complicated, and well worth consideration.

The second is that of gay marriage objectors.  The primary arguments for this side have shifted over time, which earnestly only weakens the overall strength of the position.  The most recent and supported idea is that marriage is a religious ideal.  It is a holy and blessed arrangement, not only between two people, but between those people and God.  The thought is that marriage is, and always has been a thing of faith.  Whatever the gay couples are proposing isn’t marriage, as marriage itself has been ordained by the church and defined by the bible and other religious texts.  This is probably the strongest and most reasonable opposition to the former perspective.  It shouldn’t matter whether gay people are born that way or choose to be that way, we still need respect it in the eyes of constitutional law.  Shear hate or disgust is not solid enough ground to fight this battle politically.  We can’t seriously even consider most of the other alternative arguments (see pic below).

Seriously, we’re arguing semantics here.  In light of this, a real problem has formed in my head with regards to opposition of gay marriage.  They argue that marriage is spiritual and religious in nature, but the government shouldn’t be recognizing any one faith or ideal over another.  The reason we have separation of church and state in this nation is not to protect the government from the church, but to protect the church from the government.  At least, this is what Thomas Paine clearly expressed in The Rights of Man.  With that being said, the government must recognize marriage as a sort of civil union.  There may be more than one type of civil union, and marriage is one of them.  Gay marriage must be another one in the spirit of the constitution and recognition of minority rights.  I make this point because if opponents of gay marriage continue to push this issue, the government will be forced to recognize that marriage is a religious concept.  Tax breaks and other beneficial laws made by either the states or the federal government should therefore be removed and overturned.  In the way of the American ideal, the government simply cannot unfairly provide these incentives to one group of people while withholding them from another based on religious affiliation.  In short, if marriage is a religious union only, then all those nifty tax breaks and insurance coverage options mandated by federal and states laws should be immediately suspended and withdrawn.  Uh oh, you mean to say all of this fighting for the government to recognize that marriage is a commitment in the eyes of the Lord alone just lost us our tax breaks?

Yes sir!  And this is where your current argument will eventually end up.  In my opinion, I’m all for wiping out tax breaks and special treatment to married couples over singles and gay couples.  It’s a huge deficit burden for this country.  This is coming from a happily married man to boot.  In the end, the conservative’s best position is to simply let the gay marriage proponents laws come to fruition.  At least then they won’t lose those tax incentives which allow them to keep popping out babies at the expense of the federal government and the American taxpayers. 

Alas, there is a sound and reasonable option that should satisfy both sides.  Why don’t we recognize marriage as one form of civil union, and then recognize the gay equivalence as a different form of civil union?  Allow the laws to apply to civil unions, not to marriage.  Let the religious folks keep the definition of “biblical marriage” being between and man and a woman, and let the gay couples get the fair treatment they are fighting for.  Everyone wins.

By all means, if anyone should find any major fallacies in my approach, please let me know.  I’ve been pitching this rant for months now.  I’d hate to think I was sounding like a babbling idiot this whole time. 



About suspendedoblivion

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2 responses to “On debating gay marraige…

  • jhanaorgau

    If someone wants to get married, let them marry. We do not question the motives of heterosexuals who decide to marry. We do not ask them to be chaste or prove they are abiding by all the rules set down by bible and church. If we are worried gay marriage will somehow bring the institution into disrepute, we can rest our minds. Heterosexuals have already done that starting with Henry the Eighth. Let individuals decide which religious sacraments or institutions they wish to take up. Otherwise we run the risk of becoming facist about who is worthy to do what.

    • suspendedoblivion

      Good point, and I appreciate your input. I would like to point out that I’m not trying to debate the morality of gay marriage here. I’m trying to debate the legality of it, the constitutionality if you will. I think part of the problem with this debate, like many others, is that people keep bringing morals back into it. Our laws are not set to define ethics and morals for everyone, they are in place to simply prevent one person’s morals from interfering with another’s right to freedom, privacy and/or happiness.

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