Those who read my marriage posts carefully will note that I, who love to use the George Eliotan “we” in my writing, don’t use that term as readily when discussing this institution. That is due, in large part, to my ambivalence on the issue.
While I favor some sort of state recognition of same-sex relationships, I’m not sure marriage is the right term to define them. As I have noted previously, the essence of this institution is establishing a lifelong bond between two individuals of different genders. Let me rephrase this and repeat the idea for emphasis, gender difference has long been a defining aspect of the marital bond.
At the same time, I have opposed all state referenda and initiatives so defining the institution. I believe such policies are gratuitous. I’ve always opposed unnecessary legislation such as this. Not just that, they make it more difficult for the various states to recognize same-sex partnerships.
Eight years ago when we Californians last voted on gay marriage, one could have voted against such a ballot proposition and opposed gay marriage.
With the initiative slated for this fall’s Golden State ballot, however, the situation has changed. This proposal would amend the state constitution to include the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and so overturn the state Supreme Court’s presumptuous decision.
A “no” vote (how I intend to mark my ballot) would serve to uphold that decision, giving us gay marriage in the Golden State. Thus, I will be effectively be voting for gay marriage. It is thus the first time when any state is really voting on gay marriage. “No” votes in other states would not have mandated gay marriage. The citizens of Arizona so voted and they don’t have gay marriage.
As I noted at the outset of this piece, when I have blogged on gay marriage, I have refrained from using the first person plural, thus not including myself among those advocating gay marriage and have defined its proponents as such (in the third person plural). But, in voting against this proposal, I am voting for gay marriage. Â Have I thus become an advocate of a new definition for this ancient institution?