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Same-Sex Marriage

After writing a rough draft of an essay about same-sex marriage, I sent a copy off to the most liberal friend I have.  She’s a straight liberal female, and I knew I would get a different point of view from mine.


I had begun my essay by writing,  “Obviously, not everyone is supportive of same-sex marriage.   I suspect that even a sizable proportion of gays are a little ambivalent about the issue.  After all, for most it has not been their life-style.  Change to same-sex marriage must be adjusted to by gays as well as by straights.  I suspect the adjustment will be much easier for straights than it will be for gays.”  My liberal female friend told me without ambiguity that gays were not ambivalent about same-sex marriage: they wanted nothing less than marriage without footnotes.


I went on to say, “Of course, anyone opposed to same-sex marriage is viewed as a bigot by many who identify themselves as liberals.  However, being seventy has increased my temerity.”  To this brief paragraph she responded by saying that liberals do not view people who oppose same-sex marriage as bigots, certainly she did not.  Hmmm, I’m wary of liberals bearing gifts.  She went on to imply that I was hiding behind my age and quite capable of changing my views once I understood the issues.  Okay, quit beating me. 


The next paragraph of my essay presented the following proposition, “Although portions of the Bible speak negatively of homosexual relations, personally, although I consider myself a Christian, it’s not a religious issue for me, and I certainly don’t want to force my religious views on others.  It’s more of a historical issue for me.  Our society has recognized marriage to be a relationship between a man and a woman for thousands of years.  Some of us, including me, have a hard time redefining marriage to be a relationship between folks of the same sex.”


As for the Christian references, she expressed a belief “...that churches should not be forced to marry same-sex couples if they so choose.”  However, I suspect that if same-sex marriages  are recognized by the government, it will be forced on the churches.


She went on to focus on what she considers historical errors: denying voting rights to females, denying interracial marriages, slavery, etc.  She suggested that the denial of same-sex marriages to be a similar mistake.  Strong points.


In my original essay I wrote, “Perhaps, rather than the majority of Americans redefining marriage, we should create a new word for same-sex folks who want to live in a relationship identical to marriage with all of the responsibilities and benefits of such a union.  I believe a lot of zealous opposition to same-sex marriage would evaporate if it’s not called marriage.   Let’s create a new word for same-sex marriage.  Perhaps, merriage.  It looks a lot  like marriage, and it’s a play on merry which is a synonym of gay.  It may at first seem absurd, but no more absurd than redefining marriage.”  She brushed this paragraph aside as clever but not good enough.


She said that it was not a definition problem; she said it is a human rights issue.  


Well, heck, I want them to have the rights, just not the word marriage.


My original essay stated, “While we’re speaking of human relationships, I’m not at all sure that governments should be involved in marriage or merriage.  Whether we are married or not should not make any difference in how we’re viewed or treated by governmental entities.  Perhaps we should leave marriages and merriages up to the churches and allow any pair of people to register with the government as a couple giving them all the rights normally given to marriages.”  My straight liberal female friend ignored this paragraph, and she had  no response to my following paragraphs, “Before you say, ‘What if a straight couple of the same sex registers with the government?’  My answer is a good old redneck, ‘So?’”


I went on to say, “What if three or more people, regardless of sex, want to register with the government...same answer.  If this last one hurts your head, get over it.  It’s a logical next step after redefining marriage to include same-sex unions.  If we can take male and female out of the definition of marriage, why can’t we take the number 2 out of the definition as well?”


I concluded the original essay with, “I’m a strong believer in traditional marriage, and I’m certain it will survive regardless of how marriage is redefined, but that’s just because it works for me.  I’m selfish that way.”


My female liberal friend said that she realizes that changing the law will not be likely to change the prejudice against homosexuals.  With this, I quite agree.  She spent some time seemingly trying to convince me that homosexuals do not have a choice about their sexual preferences.  Well, no joke.  I remember laughing critically when Time magazine pronounced to the world that homosexuality had a physiological basis.  Thank you, Miss Obvious.


This little essay has been an interesting view into the mind of a liberal, people whom I respect but do not understand.    The part of me which is conservative seems convinced that folks should be more concerned about having equal rights, not the stamp of approval gained by hijacking the word marriage.


enough