Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Post on the Same Sex Marriage Decision Before Reading It

Unlike the decision on Obamacare, the Supreme Court's decision on same sex marriage (I refuse to use the term "marriage equality") is long and complex and no doubt involved high constitutional principles.  I haven't read it yet.  I suppose I really ought to read it and give an opinion on it after the crisis in modern Greece quiets down but before returning to Classical Greece.  But in the meantime, I can say a few things on same sex marriage in general.

First, I have no quarrel with same sex marriage and am mildly in favor of it.  But I just don't think it is the most important issue of our day.

Second, that being said, I do not think any such right can by any stretch of the imagination be read into the US Constitution.  There are legitimate constitutional grounds to address whether one state must recognize such a marriage if made in another state.  But if you want same sex marriage, get it enacted by the usual democratic practice of legislation or initiative.  It is slow, but doable.

Finally, when I read the anti's (which I do a lot at Rod Dreher) my sympathies are entirely with the pro's.  When I read the pro's (my Facebook feed, for instance) I get a lot of sympathy with the anti's.

To the anti's:  I am perfectly prepared to concede that your opposition to same sex marriage is not motivated by any hatred toward gays.  Nonetheless, when you give the whole "The sky is falling" talk, when you warn that allowing gay marriage will mean the end of all ontological and moral distinctions, the final collapse of all values, and the end of Western Civilization, can you understand how some people might take that as hostility?  Try looking at that from the perspective of two members of the same sex who want to get married and are told that allowing them to do so will destroy the entire moral foundation of our society.  It isn't hatred, exactly, but it sounds very much like extreme, irrational fear.  And exaggerated, irrational fear can be even worse than hate because it makes people think like cornered animals.

To the pro's:  By all means celebrate this victory.  But your degree of obsession with the subject is really disturbing.  Too often, you treat support for same sex marriage as the be-all and end-all of whether someone is a good person.  There are a lot of other issues out there.  The Supreme Court took on a case that could have stripped 7 million people of their health insurance.  The Republicans are still formally dedicated to taking it away from some 20 million.  They also want to start a war somewhere.  In fact, we are already fighting drone wars and proxy wars in may parts of the world.  Greece may be on the verge of total economic collapse.  Global warming may take away all our futures.  And all that matters to you is whether gay couples can get married?  Do not turn away valuable allies on other subjects just because they disagree with you on this one.  Give some thought of the extent to which you are violating millennia of tradition and have some sympathy with people who just can't make that leap instead of dismissing them as bigots.  Some people have sincerely religious objections to participating in same sex weddings.  As someone else put it, give them the same respect you give to people who have religious objections to eating pork or drinking alcohol or working on the Sabbath.

And, having won this case and looking for some glorious new cause to champion, any chance you could find something a little more mainstream than guaranteeing the 0.2% of the population that is transsexual the right to be called by their pronoun of choice and use their bathroom of choice. Anyone who makes that their primary issue is running a boutique party and deserve to lose.  (Not that Republicans deserve to win).

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