December 01, 2004

Give "marriage" to the churches

While the Supremes refused to get involved in the gay marriage issue in Massachusetts, the decision has crystalized the strategy of the pro and con forces.

The justices made no comment in refusing to take the case. But both sides in the fight said the decision set the stage for years of further legal and political battles that, at least in the short term, would be likely to help conservatives at the polls.

Gay rights groups said the decision cleared the way for suits in lower courts around the country seeking to establish or expand same-sex marriage. Their socially conservative opponents said the court's decision not to take on the issue would add momentum to the political battles to settle the matter at the polls, where the overwhelming success of measures forbidding same-sex marriages in 13 states has indicated that the issue is a big winner for conservatives.

It's a battle worth fighting, but why keep fighting it using these tactics? It's not that it could hurt Democrats in elections, since that's a dynamic that at best, has a limited shelf life (younger voters are increasingly tolerant of people loving people).

Rather, let's shake up tactics. The conservative bigotted position is untennable. It has no basis in fact or reason. Arguments against gay marriage are predicated entirely, 100 percent, on emotion. And the vehicle for those emotional appeals are the word "marriage". A mere semantic.

Or it would be, if government rights and benefits weren't predicated on that single word.

So let's gift the word "marriage" to the churches, grant themexclusive use, and get the government out of the realm of "marriage". That way, churches could define whatever it was they called "marriage" (you know, that thing with a 50 percent success rate), and leave the government to certify legal "unions" -- you know, those things between people who love each other.

That way, the churches could find ways to really save marriage, by figuring out how to keep their flocks from divorcing, cheating and abusing their spouses.

[original article]
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Posted by thinkum at December 1, 2004 03:25 PM

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