Maine's rejection of gay marriage is more than just a disappointment to me; it's a travesty. From the hands of the voters, yet another minority has had its rights rescinded. Although the group that supported so-called "gay marriage" had better funding and should have prevailed, there persists in this nation a segment of society gullible enough, willing enough, careless enough, to buy into the scare tactics that emanate from the political right wing.
"They'll teach our children about homosexual marriage in schools," was one particularly pervasive and disgusting argument. First of all, I don't recall being taught much about marriage at all in school, except in biology as a 9th grader and "marriage and family" in my home ec classes. What I do recall is that every family in the books was different from mine. No, my parents weren't gay, but they were divorced, and in the 50s that was only spoken of - if at all - as an aberrant paradigm. So what about the kids in today's school who do have two moms or two dads? Will ignoring their non-traditional families make them feel as alone and "different" as I felt?
"Homosexuals will recruit your children to their 'lifestyle'." Oh, really? When a person makes that statement to me, I love it because it gives me the opportunity to ask them if they're so insecure in their own sexuality that they could have been "recruited" as a child?
"It will undermine the institution of marriage." No; Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor, and Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina undermine the "institution of marriage," and they're heterosexuals, every one. Even I, a practicing heterosexual, have two divorces under my belt. So I, too, am guilty of undermining.
"It's against God's/Allah's/Yahweh's (insert your favorite deity here) word." Well, I'm really sorry, but none of them is a registered voter here in the U.S., and there are a whole lot of people who subscribe to no religion, or to less restrictive ideologies than are assumed by that statement. I am, however, a Christian (but an Episcopalian, so maybe my ideas count for less!) and the God I know is accepting of us all. The God I worship is not a god of hate and marginalization, but of love and acceptance. I don't know who those other guys are talking about. Besides, the last time I looked, we aren't a theocracy, and our founding documents don't include the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran.
What I propose - and have espoused (if you'll pardon the terminology) for some time - is to get the government at all levels out of the business of marriage. Since some among us are so devoted to the word, marriage, let's call for the Federal, State, and Local governments to abandon it and issue Domestic Partnership licenses. Let all tax laws and other regulations apply equally to people who enter into DPs, and anyone who wants Marriage can have it blessed in their local church or other religious institution.
I'm old enough to remember that when Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco, their civil union was a separate funcion from their religious union. Performed at different places, on different days, thereby fulfilling both their State and religious regulations.
Would that be so hard?
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