Gay marriage letter sparks opposing view
Gay marriage letter sparks opposing view
With respect to the letter of Nov. 14 “People have spoken on gay marriage bans,” I feel the writer made several wrong points.
Despite the writer’s feelings that California’s vote on Proposition 8 is a dead topic, it is still in debate if the vote (52-48 percent) was enough of a majority to cause a “revision” to California’s constitution (needing 67 percent in favor) rather than an “amendment.” Most constitutions were written with an understanding of the magnitude of turning over a basic premise (equality) versus “amending” a minor issue.
The writer speaks as if the slight majority of California has spoken with a thundering voice that Proposition 8 was the right thing to do, when in reality, even with all of the misinformation spread about the rights of gay people to marry, the law passed by a very thin majority, too thin, many feel, to overturn the more powerful basic stature of the California Constitution.
The writer then goes on to talk about marrying minors and goats, and comparing that to two adult human beings who are in love.
Laws protect minors because the legislature and the voters feel minors have not reached the age of consent and therefore cannot make an adult decision on an act that will affect the rest of their lives.
Goats (and animals of most types) do not have the cognizant capabilities to have “consent.” It would be impossible for a goat to enter into marriage, since the goat would not have the ability to understand the phrase “I do,” to make the commitment of a lifetime of love and respect.
We are not talking about children, nor are we talking about goats. We are talking about two consenting human beings who want to have exactly the same rights – including divorce, having a family, earning respect – as do millions of other couples.
Those people who feel that “civil unions” convey these rights must never have studied law. Law is based on words, phrases and precedence, which sometimes follow a tricky path.
What is a “civil union” in one state may or may not exist in another. What does it mean to be “civil unioned” in Vermont and “un-civil-unioned” in Texas, which does not support civil unions? Is it the same as “divorce?”
What if you are “married” in Massachusetts and need to get “divorced” in a state that does not recognize that marriage? As a country we recognize the bond of marriage in all of our states. This is not true of “civil unions.”
Like it or not, the laws of a nation, and indeed the world, have been written around a word. How we treat a couple in love, their rights and obligations, is based on that word “marriage.”
Unless we go through every law and every statute and make sure that the laws are consistent, then there is no equal rights under the law for one group to be “civil unioned” and one group to be “married.”
The word that defines an unequivocal and inseparable love and a commitment to that love is “marriage.” That the word “marriage” does not mean only a commitment between a man and a woman is shown in our vernacular: “I am married to my job;” “I am married to my cause.”
We use these phrases every day. The phrase “married” in these cases mean commitment, love and duty. These are the things that two people mean when they say their vows, whether they be homosexual or heterosexual.
The writer of that letter feels the “voters have spoken.” I am old enough to remember the 1950s, and I can tell you that the “voters spoke” over civil rights, particularly in the South, and they rejected civil rights for African Americans.
Fortunately, some brave judges and some brave politicians stood up and declared that discrimination as being wrong, and from that the civil rights amendments and laws were created. I still have hope that this will happen again and that the recent attack on the constitution of California will be overturned.
For those who feel that the equalization of marriage will happen “in good time,” “in good time” will not help two of my male friends who shared 40 years of fidelity and love. They will never be able to say that they were “married.” One of them died last year of brain cancer.
I hope that the American people will finally see the inequality and inhumanity of what they are doing and allow gay marriage to happen before too many more couples are parted in death.
Goats? And (better yet) taxpaying goats? The argument is not just ridiculous, it is just plain baaaaad.
Jon A. Hall