should gay marriage be unconstitutional?

Usually when I’m browing Yahoo! News, it’s more for the sensationalist, people-pleasing, and often humourous headlines that they offer. Today, to my surprise, I came across a very well written piece on gay marriage. The piece talks about the difference between Dick and Lynne Cheney’s views on gay marriage, and more importantly the difference between the Republican and the Democratic candidates’ views on gay marriage and whether or not it should be constitutional.

The article makes it pretty clear that both presidential and both vice-presidential candidates are against gay marriage as an institution. However, the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is that Kerry and Edwards, although they are personally against gay marriage, support the rights of gay couples to share the same benefits as those men and women who marry the opposite sex. I think this speaks volumes about the relative importance that both parties place on the separation of church and state.

I really believe the Democrats have it right here. Although I’m personally against gay marriage, I believe that the state has no place telling people whom they can and cannot marry. Although I believe that the definition of marriage is necessarily dependent on the union of a man and a woman, there is no reason why those who do not share my beliefs should not be able to derive the same legal protections and benefits that opposite-sex married couples currently enjoy. And that’s why, even though I believe marriage is an institution of which gay couples cannot be a part, declaring gay marriage unconstitutional would be wrong and dangerous. Otherwise, where is the real separation between church and state? What real ‘freedom’ would America offer?

2 thoughts on “should gay marriage be unconstitutional?”

  1. Where is the separation of church and state? You have been mislead, my friend. There is no such critter and it never was intended to be. The government shall make no law concerning an institution of religion. That’s it. Period. The interpretation that there must be no religious influence in government is unconstitutional and unfounded. You can have all the religion you want in government. You CANNOT, however, have ANY government in religion. It’s a one-way street.

    As for this specific issue, homosexuality is not an institution of religion. But I’m sure that if this argument were the only one preventing homosexuals from getting marriage privileges, it would be established as a religion in short order.

    You said:
    “there is no reason why those who do not share my beliefs should not be able to derive the same legal protections and benefits that opposite-sex married couples currently enjoy”
    Sure there is: society wants to discourage this behavior. Just because it is not politically correct to say it, doesn’t mean most of society doesn’t feel that way. It’s just like most of the income tax laws — they exist to encourage preferred behavior, like giving to charity or investing long-term rather than short-term.

  2. While the state has no right to impose a religion on people, there is an implicit ok to impose “morality” in some circumstances. For example, we don’t allow men to marry two women at once. Everyone pretty much universally agrees on that point. So why not? Because we as a society, have determined that there are negative social and economical implications to bigamy. It also happens to be something that most Americans would say is “immoral.” So it’s off limits because it has bad effects and it’s immoral.

    So does Gay marriage meet that same limit? I beleive it does. We as a society, IMHO, are allowed to encourage activities that are beneficial to society and discourage activities that are not. Marriage has traditionally been about encouraging the creation of families, with one man and one woman. Studies (and centuries of history) have shown that raising children in this environment is best.

    Gay marriage is a problem for me because it uses the word “marriage” — which carries with it lots of baggage (see above). Civil unions are no problem for me, and those that get civil unions should be entitled to the same rights as married people. So you get “Gay Marriage” without the word. Works for me.

    As an aside, in any case, I thing an Amendment is a bad idea. I don’t think this issue is important enough to make it in the Consiution. Other things that don’t belong in Constitutions: Bullet Trains and Pregnant Pigs. 🙂

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