Sunday, August 03, 2003

Gay Marriage

There has been a lot of talk lately about the concept of ‘Gay Marriage’. I personally tend to watch these discussions from the position of a bemused bystander.

Here in the US freedom of speech and religion are very serious issues. However, as a libertarian I figure that I don't particularly care what the law is on gay marriage as long as I am not forced into one!

I really don't care and can't understand what makes people so crazed on this issue on both sides. If you are gay and want to legalize gay marriage then work through the political system to get that accomplished. If you are not gay and do not want to have gay marriage legalized then go ahead and let your elected representative know that. Both sides have a valid position and we do not all have to agree on this in order to live in the same country.

Even if Gay marriage laws are passed your church is not required to have them or recognize them. Heck, I'm Catholic and there are plenty of marriages out there that are not recognized by my church. Does that make those people less married in the eyes of law and society? NO.

I just want to point out that most people who I know on either side of the issue have very little exposure to and understanding of why the other side believes as it does. I have found on more than one occasion that I am a 'translator' of sorts. I am personally quite conservative and politically land on the libertarian wing of the Republican party. On the other hand I have MANY gay friends and I tend to be their 'token' conservative friend. When I go to parties at their place it can sometimes become intimidating because I suddenly have to 'defend' the position of the entire conservative portion of America. Conversely, when I am sitting around with conservative friends I work hard to make sure that they understand the real concerns of my gay friends.

I just want to point out something here as a bit of free advice to those working towards legalized gay marriage. The gay population is not officially tracked through the census (to the best of my knowledge) and has been defined as anywhere between 2% and 10%. No matter what the percentage gay marriage is an issue that will not be passed without the cooperation of many straight members of society.

The best way to gain that support (in my view) is not to attack straight peoples beliefs, institutions and organizations. In particular attacking the faiths of someone who holds different views than you is counter productive. Rather point out the inequalities that are a fact of daily life for gay citizens who often feel that they are not afforded the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship because of the fact that they are gay. That will often help to open eyes and change minds.


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