I Don’t Hate Gays
California Prop. 8, if passed, would add the following to the state constitution:
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
I voted Yes on 8, and yet I haven’t lost my mind, however I have been, am, or will be dismissed as such. Know my decision was not made lightly, and yet know I remain lucid.
In the intervening centuries since marriage was simply a business transaction between parents, it has become a public commitment between two adults, a commitment that ideally shares love and resources, with the added intent to raise children.
However, it even more deeply represents a public commitment to get it on — specifically, in a manner such that we propagate the species — and so many religions, including my own, consider marriage ordained by God Himself. This is what marriage is, and that is irrevocable. Although homosexual couples should have partnership rights and legally recognized benefits, their union cannot be called marriage.
It’s as if the government decided to make Christmas and other holy days public holidays — remember how it did, and how this secularization irks believers every Advent and every Lent? Rather than flow from the society inward to government establishment as did the secularization of Christmas, the issue of legalized homosexual marriage flows from the government down to a society not yet tamed by I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
This time, the religious sectors of society have the power to prevent wholesale — and rightly unacceptable — appropriation and castration of a cornerstone institution into a secular society by taking a positive action. This positive action, so called because it is preemptive and not because “positive” indicates value and worth, took the form of first Prop. 22, and now Prop. 8.
Ironically, voting yes on Prop 8., or even its presence on the ballot, might bring exactly what opponents really want, in the long run — the Supreme Court to have the final say, and more likely than not, in their favor. After passage, a California constitutional amendment about a hot-button issue in a hotly contested election year would bring forth much more interest in the Federal courts than Prop. 22 was. If Prop. 8 passes, the surely imminent lawsuits will bring gay marriage as an issue to a head much more quickly than to vote no this election day and wait for the inevitable proposition next year.
The real and permanent solution is to remove from our government all mention of “marriage,” replacing it with “civil union” or some other doublespeak. Let religions keep marriage; let everyone be equal in the eyes of the law, in all the ways that really matter.
Leave it to the politicians to forget the importance of cosmetic change.