Monday, May 23, 2011

Civil Unions And "White's Only"

Recently I've been asked a lot and repeatedly about my views on "gay marriage" and my relatively liberal questioners have given the same dismissive response to my position - "but that's 'separate but equal'." I'd like to take this opportunity to lay out my position on "gay marriage" and explain why the liberal talking point of "separate but equal" is profoundly insulting and outright wrong.

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that my position is not based on religion in any way. Also, it needs to be said that America's freedom of religion means that no American government can force any religious institution to perform a marriage ceremony for people that institution deems outside their beliefs. Period. American Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Shintos, Buddhists, and many Protestant sects will never marry anyone except a man and a woman.

Additionally, love is love. What I outline below in no way means I believe that any two people who are committed to one another have to be male and female for it to be "real". That is a disgusting position. Love is real.

My position begins with the very basic fact that for vast numbers of organisms living on planet earth, life and evolution exists because a male and female breed offspring. That reproduction, the most basic element of life itself, is the root from which marriage evolved as a social construct amongst human cultures.

That throughout human history and across human cultures, the vast percentage of humans view marriage as between a man and a woman. Basically because of the biological facts above.

The huge majority of humans are heterosexual. America is democracy. Advocates of "gay marriage" within the gay population itself represent a relatively small population of that community as well. The concept of "gay marriage" has been gaining acceptance for years but changing the definition of marriage itself has not. Which is why most Americans have rejected "gay marriage" laws.

Civil Unions are a legitimate offer to provide homosexuals wishing to enter into a committed union the same legal protections as heterosexual couples have when married while preserving the ancient meaning of marriage.

In my opinion, Civil Unions offer a heartfelt solution to this situation. While as I've indicated above, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, I wholeheartedly believe that love is transcendental and that anyone who wishes to commit their love to another person deserves the same legal status. However, the long, deep, and consistent history of marriage being between a man and a woman means that I can only support Civil Unions as an honest remedy to helping homosexual couples receive the same legal protections as heterosexual ones.

Yet, Civil Unions are dismissed as "Separate But Equal". And this is where I get really mad.

Given the context of "separate but equal" using it as the knee-jerk reaction to honest debate and attempts at a real solution is bullying and an attempt to shut down the discussion. The racist origins of "separate but equal" were exclusionary. "White's Only". The offer of Civil Unions is inclusive.

The context of "separate but equal" means to claim Civil Unions are "separate but equal" is tantamount to saying those who support Civil Unions are the equivalent of racists.

Worse, suggesting that homosexuals who can not marry are suffering the same as African Americans did during segregation is degrading to all those who had to sit at the back of the bus, who couldn't vote or eat in most restaurants. It is degrading to all the Freedom Riders who fought and died to end segregation. What does it say about the liberal view of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King's legacy when they compare situations?

Just how many gay couples wake up to burning crosses on their front lawn?

Yes racism exists. Yes homophobia exists. Yes both are on the decline. Civil Unions are NOT 'separate but equal' but a serious offer to address a legitimate concern. An offer of Civil Union status in no way compares to a "Whites Only" sign.

And suggesting that it does is nothing but an attempt to shut down the debate and ignore an honest perspective and remedy.

So that's it. My position on "gay marriage". Love is real and transcendental. Marriage is the ancient social contract between a man and a woman. I believe that the new social contract of Civil Unions addresses the legal needs of homosexuals wishing to enter a legally committed relationship.

And finally, I believe that comparing Civil Unions to Segregation and the historic and brutal treatment of African-Americans as an attempt to shut down debate by ad homenin attacks via the racism card. That is wrong, unfair, and illiberal.

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