Thursday, December 11, 2008

The "Right" Thing

Regarding the controversy spurred by Prop 8, Huckabee and other "righters" keep talking about "creating the next generation"- do these people not understand that we have a population crisis on our hands?

On what is this camp basing their thesis that a same-sex couple cannot parent as well as a man and a woman? Where is the data to back that up? If the status quo nuclear family is so strong, why do over half of marriages end in divorce? And why have our next generations fallen behind many countries in education? If this group of Republicans cares so much about the next generation, why does it not sink more energy and resources into our troubled education system?

Why does 're-defining' the construct of marriage scare everybody so much? It is shocking and saddening to me to see otherwise intelligent people be so ignorant! How can this be? Usually, on polarizing political issues, I am able to somewhat understand where both sides are coming from on an issue. But I am truly baffled by this one. What, exactly, is the problem with affording the same rights to same sex couples? The denial of these rights is unconstitutional. Period. I have yet to hear a sound argument that would justify this denial of rights.

One argument I’ve heard is that marriage is a religious office and as such is governed by the institutions which codify each union. But are not marriages often performed under the jurisdiction of the state alone? Non-religious heterosexual couples take vows at state courthouses every day. Marriage as an institution has become a cultural tradition, transcending religion and other original affiliations (such as the tradition of the wife being the property of the husband).

Another argument I've been offered is "marriage taking place only between a man and a woman is the way it's been for thousands of years- it's in the bible". First of all, when did we declare the United States to be an official tenant of the Catholic Church? Are we ruling from the bible, now? Secondly, the idea that our history of behavior should have more power than the evolution of culture is ludicrous. If we obeyed that kind of thinking, women wouldn't have the right to vote (or choose to marry whom they wanted, for that matter). I believe that we have to let our systems evolve with us, to retain the right to be called sentient beings.

To me, the anti-gay rights movement is madness. Someone please explain it to me. What is behind this denial of rights and why is remaining legal? I am waiting for an intelligent answer.