Friday, June 28, 2013

Why Gay Marriage Forces Me to be a Democrat

Bunnies: Proof Homosexuality Happens
So, in case you fell asleep recently and slept through one of the larger SCOTUS decisions in our generation's history, you should know that DOMA was struck down and Prop 8's appeal for survival was defeated, meaning that gay marriage is once again legal in the State of California and can be made to be legal in any state in the union that so wishes. This has been seen largely as a civil rights victory for the gay community, and speaking as a straight guy with a surprising amount of gay friends on both sides of the border, I'm pretty pleased to learn that the American ones will at least have the same rights as the Canadian ones.

Now, I'm going to save the morality of homosexuality for a later discussion. Being mortal and strictly adherent to Matthew 7:5 I'm not entirely sure I actually get to have that conversation, but since controversy is the bread-and-butter of hits and hits are the bread-and-butter of those of us who are trying to make a living with a single ad box, you can probably expect me to be not so strict in my adherence.

As it happens, I am enjoying the reaction to the ruling more than the ruling itself. Remember, for those of you who need it, that the force and effect of the ruling was that "gay marriage is once again legal in the State of California and can be made to be legal in any state in the union that so wishes." No more, no less.

What's this have to do with me never being able to be a republican? The tea party. Speaker of the House Boehner actually did a very good job of addressing the ruling in a tasteful, responsible way. Then, the right wing of his own party jumped up and shot the chances of a Republican presidency in 2016 right in the rear.

I'm going to start with the statements that are truly egregious-in-fact: the statements from elected Republicans that make it clear that there should be an exam on civil procedure before you're allowed to run for office in America. I refer, of course, to Rep. Stephen Scalise. My source, of course, is the CBC.

“It’s a sad day when unelected judges change the definition of marriage and turn their backs on the will of voters and … their elected representatives,” he declared. 
Unelected judges  overriding the tyranny of the majority is precisely why the US has a supreme court. If it didn't, there is a strong possibility that schools and businesses would still be segregated along racial lines.  In the 60s, when the Jim Crowe laws were still in force an effect, they were very popular among the majority. Sometimes, the will of the voters is wrong in light of the US Constitution, and that's why Judges don't have to run for office. And shouldn't have to.
“Marriage has been debased by this decision, and the moral fibre of our country is affected greatly,” said Doug Lamalfa of California, adding that churches will now somehow be forced to “perform things that they are against.”
Tortoises also occasionally show gay behaviour
 There's actually a factual error in here, but I do want to wade into the area of morality in order to address the first half of the statement. To say that marriage has been debased by gay marriage, in a country where Kim Kardashian was married for about a week and made $17 Million in the process, where overnight drunken weddings in Vegas are so common that they have become a staple of comedy movies, and where the divorce rate is higher than the marriage rate (meaning most divorcees have already been divorced) is a little like saying my applying whiteout to that graffiti over there debased the wall. Moving from that, however, there is a factual error here, and an oft repeated one.

No Church, anywhere in the United States, is forced to perform anything. Not by this ruling or any law on the books I can find. They are simply allowed to do so. Some chruches actually embrace gay marriage: The United Church of Canada is one example, though I'm certain there is an American one. To to say that they were forced to do so only admits something the Con-Equality side doesn't want you to know - some churches bow to public opinion and allow marriage rights to the homosexuals. Admitting that would be admitting that the majority actually does want gay rights.

Redefining marriage, declared Louie Gohmert of Texas, is “usually tried at the end of a great civilization.”
I've um, I've never been a fan of this argument because it lacks an appropriate humility. Rome, you ain't. Damascus, you ain't. But, ignoring for a moment the definition of great civilizations, I've never been able to find a scrap of evidence for this assertion. None. And, once tasked with arguing against gay marriage for a Logic and Debate project in college, I can actually say this was an argument I tried before. Or rather, considered trying - no evidence means no argument.

Of course, Boehner and the mainstream Republicans had the right side of this issue - we disagree, but SCOTUS is SCOTUS - but that doesn't matter, because once again, the Tea Party is hijacking the issue. And that's a shame, because, until there's a legitimate counterpoint to the Democratic Party in the US, the Dems are pretty much going to run the show.

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