Friday, June 09, 2006

K to the Raut to the Hammer on the failed Amendment

Since this is purportedly "Gay Week," here at Codemorse, I thought I'd share the Hammer's rather tepid acknowledgement that the Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage is unecessary. I should note that the Hammer appears to believe I'm dimwitted:

On Wednesday the Senate fell 18 votes short of the two-thirds majority that would have been required to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The mainstream media joined Sen. Edward Kennedy in calling the entire debate a distraction from the nation's business and a wedge with which to divide Americans.

Since the main business of Congress is to devise ever more ingenious ways (earmarked and non-earmarked) to waste taxpayers' money, any distraction from the main business is welcome. As for dividing Americans, who came up with the idea of radically altering the most ancient of all social institutions in the first place? Until the past few years, every civilization known to man has defined marriage as between people of opposite sex. To charge with "divisiveness" those who would do nothing more than resist a radical overturning of that norm is a sign of either gross partisanship or serious dimwittedness.

This point is fine as far as it goes, but I think even the Hammer will concede that not everyone pushing the Amendment is merely "resist[ing] a radical overturning of [the opposite sex] norm." But then we get into the motives of people and as I've stated on multiple occasions, it's a meaningless exercise.

2 Comments:

At 12:09 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Ah, Hammer. You disappoint me.

I'll continue to annoyingly insist that personal motives play an enormous part in this "debate," as they did during the civil rights era, the women's sufferage movement, and virtually every other attempted advancement of human rights.

But I'll concede that attempting to ferry those waters is hazardous and subjective.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous jillofalltrades said...

"As for dividing Americans, who came up with the idea of radically altering the most ancient of all social institutions in the first place? Until the past few years, every civilization known to man has defined marriage as between people of opposite sex. To charge with "divisiveness" those who would do nothing more than resist a radical overturning of that norm is a sign of either gross partisanship or serious dimwittedness."

So sayest the dimwitted himself. The reality is that marraige is indeed a social institution, and as such, has evolved considerably over time, and should continue to evolve with the times. Remember the days when blacks were forbidden to marry whites? Or when women were considered the property of their husbands (sadly this is still the mindset in some cultures)? Thankfully, such practices are no longer the "norm" in American society.

I am a firm believer that social (particularly gender) roles are constructed. The fact that homosexuality and gay marriage are not thoroughly accepted in current times does not mean that these notions did not exist in the past. Rather, it just proves that in the past -- as in the present -- the majority succeeded in demonizing and oppressing those beliefs.

History has proven repeatedly that the majority is not always right. (Take Nazi Germany as one of many possible examples.)The "popular" view is often bigoted and may need to be balanced with logic and reason. I believe lawmakers have a responsibility to infuse -- rather than defuse -- this element of fairness and logic.

Here are the facts, plain and simple: Marraige affords heterosexual couples over 1,000 legal rights. Gay couples do not have an avenue to these rights. Yet, gay people pay the same taxes and must abide by the same laws as heterosexuals.

Gay marriage is a simple issue of fairness and civil rights. It is not an issue of morality, or religion, or whatever construct conservatives want to lay over it. If it were, conservatives would be protesting just as loudly against prisoners being allowed to marry, mulitple divorcees being allowed to marry, teenagers being allowed to marry (as young as 15 in some states with parental consent), first cousins being allowed to marry, men taking "mail order brides," and total strangers getting hitched on national TV.

Thousands of heterosexual people get married every day for reasons that I, personally, disapprove of, but there are no laws or edicts that prevent them from doing so. And there shouldn't be. Conservatives are lobbying so hard for this amendment because they hate gay people and they want to permanently relegate us to second class status. Gay marriage does not threaten heterosexual marraiage -- it does however, threaten heterosexual society's power over gay people. And THAT is the true motivation for this amendment.

Anyone who looks at the facts in relation to our current society can see that denying marraige based solely on gender is unfair.

 

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