Vox Populi

We were watching the news this morning, the Partner and I, and what a jolly bunch of stuff it was. Hoo, baby. North Korea is, well, Being North Korea, we might say, and the California Supreme Court did not allow the challenge to the passage of Proposition 8 to stand. The Partner figures it is about money. I, being of a more perhaps paranoid cast of mind, think there is something a bit more medieval going on.

Proposition 8, to my mind, was something that should never have been on the ballot in the first place. Conflating religious and “moral” views with a specific class having or not having the ability to enter into a civil contract seems to me to violate one of the basic tenets of this country: Separation of church and state. Either marriage is a completely religious act, or not. If it is a civil act, a civil contract, with additional possible religious meaning, then the civil aspect must, in a democratic society, trump the religious one in the making of law. So there’s a problem there. If marriage is a contract involving legal and financial aspects it should not be dictated by any rules other than civil. Historically marriage HAS been a contract involving legal and financial aspects. Historically, as well, homosexuality has existed. Logically, to forbid people of a certain sexual orientation who will form family bonds (since this is what human beings do) to enter into a contract protecting aspects of those bonds makes no sense and seems, actually, lawless.

As an issue, I have to wonder what people are thinking here. Many of my gay friends feel that marriage is not an item of interest, but the principle of being denied a basic civil right IS of interest. Other people I know dwell, in horror, on thoughts of same sex kissing. Really people. Do we have time for this? If two individuals want to get married, that really should be their business and no one else’s. Personally I have alot of questions about marriage. It has its’ origins in slavery in Byzantine and Roman times, after all. (A HISTORY OF PRIVATE LIFE, Vol. I, Aries and Duby, Eds) When I got married myself, one of the pastors I interviewed to perform the ceremony was horrified that I had deleted the “obey” portion from the vows, unless we both said it. We had quite the interesting discussion about that. He did not perform the ceremony. Additionally, I have no interest in watching anybody kiss, or worrying about who kisses who among those of age to consent to such activity, particularly.

But you cannot have things both ways. Either we have a society that functions under the rule of law, and preserves justice for its citizens, or not. Having a religious and moral control on who can exercise legal rights is dangerous, indeed, and it is at our peril that we confuse that issue with personal views on sexuality, or anything else for that matter. The real thing here is that while you may get distracted by the idea of drag queens marching down the aisle, the point is that it could be anyone having any right denied to them because a particular interest group decides it is not acceptable. That is the issue, to my mind. It is not about sexual persuasion. It is about justice and due process.


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