Well, today I did it…I dropped off my absentee ballot on its way to what we call my “HOR” to be counted with the other suburbanites in Metro Denver. I’d have mailed it off sooner, but struggled with one particular referendum.
I know, by virtue of the fact that I’m a gay man, I’m obligated to oppose defining “marriage” as being between one man and one woman. Yes, yes…shudder at the thought.
The beauty of Ref I is that it allows gays and lesbians to enter into “Domestic Partnerships” that, ostensibly, are the same in a civic sense as marraige. Ultimately I did the “right” thing and voted against amending the state Constitution (Amendment 43), and for Ref I. Thank Heavens, I’m sure to be welcomed with a warm reception back into polite gay company.
However, Referendum I is harder to vote for than the Gayarazzi wants you to believe…that is, if you believe in anti-discrimination. But then again, if you believe in what the gay community stands for (or used to say they stood for), most of this is moot anyway…
I’m sure to face the wrath of not only lefties who lurk in the comments section of GP, but also (surely a much more respectful) disagreement from my fellow bloggers here when I say this, but I’m against gay marriage. But that comes from my libertarian roots.
What I’d like to say to both sides of the marriage debate is: “You’re both wrong”
It’s like this, you see:
To the religious folks who are up-in-arms about “destroying” the “sacred institute” of marriage, I say, You’re absolutely right, it would be destroyed if gays were allowed to marry. But you know what? You reap what you sow. Millennia ago (or whenever), the Church abdicated its authority over marriage by allowing civic institutions to confer the status upon thier subjects. Today we (Americans, that is) live in (Thank God) a representative democracy. As such, when you allow The State to label people as “single” or “married”, you kinda have to suck up whatever they want to define it as. Render unto Caesar, the saying goes.
Case in point: There will never be a marriage between two guys in the Catholic church, no matter how the mores of American society change. And yes, I know that the Catechism implores us to take civic action and ensure our societies live according to God’s plan…but if that were so, why let civic institutions play a role without the church in the first place? If nobody’s recognized as being “married” in the Catholic church without a Catholic ceremony (this is true), then why even bother with what The State says? By allowing The State to have legitimacy (rather than, say, reclaiming it, to include even the word “marriage”) in this arena, you don’t really have much to bitch about if you ask me.
And don’t think that us queers get off so easily either. Time was, we were screaming (well, okay, I was a child, but I remember the vocal ones doing so) about how the Government should stay the hell out of our bedrooms and our lives. Why suddenly do we care what they think about us? Could it have anything to do with the elimination of the Marriage Penalty tax? Hmm?
(As a side note, would be funny, wouldn’t it, if Gay Marriage won at the same time the Leftist Gay “Leaders” got Charlie Rangel as the W&M Chair? Welcome back, Marriage Penalty Tax! And just in time!)
More seriously, marriage is not a civic thing. That is, it oughtn’t be. I am fervently against gay marriage becuase it’s not The State’s place to involve itself in our interpersonal relationships.
Case in point: You know that, in Colorado a judge determines that your relationship is “irretrievably broken” when you file for a no-fault divorce. That means you are obligated to explain to a servent of the state that you and your spouse aren’t getting along in order to dissolve a contract that you both want out of. What sort of civil contract entails such personal disclosure? It should be none of the government’s business what the status of your personal relationships are, right? Isn’t that what we’ve always said?
Furthermore, in many states, adultery is grounds for divorce. Which is to say, if evidence is presented and a case made to show your spouse was engaged in extra-marital sex, even if consensual, you can end that legal contract. Talk about Big Brother!
Oh, and what’s more, for those who say that gays aren’t allowed to marry, I say hogwash! You can go to any number of churches and get married (heck, some will even let gay clergymen get married). Are you so beholden to the state (so slavish a subject?) that you won’t consider yourselves married unless you have a piece of paper stamped with the Seal of the County Judge? Sounds like a real healthy relationship you’ve got there!
The answer here is this: (ha ha…That phrase in a political discussion is refreshing! But anyway,) Marriage should be ended as a civic institution. Leave that to the churches and communities and families and friends. Give us a document, a form contract that I can fill out with another person (or heck! persons!) that includes durable powers of attorney, living wills, hospital visitation rights, and all that stuff. If you want, you can keep the same papers you have now, just scratch that damned “M”-word off them.
It’s called Domestic Partnership or Civil Unions. Individuals partake in contracts and litigation all the time without the government involved in thier personal lives. As the government, they are responsible only to enforce (or help enforce), when necessary, the agreed-to tenants of a legal contract. Take all that personal stuff out of it, and I’m all behind it.
Back to the matter at hand for Coloradans: Specifically the part of Referendum I which troubled me most, because when you read the actual Colorado Domestic Partnership Benefits and Responsibilities Act (which Ref I would put into law), is that it’s specifically for “same-sex couples” (Para 14.15.102). How “fair” is that? Is the good the enemy of the perfect? I hope not, and I hope that, if Ref I passes, the great people of the Centennial State will soon see fit to update this law and include everybody, and not just one special segment of society.
I say, Domestic Partnerships for All! Marriage for None!