Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Last Father's Day

So I found this ad (via Andrew Sullivan) from the Family Research Council yesterday, and it's just one of those things that really bothers me. "The next step will be to remove 'Father' from birth certificates." On what world? This is part of that "slippery slope" argument that says, if we allow gay marriage, soon all our families will be destroyed, and people will engage in bestiality and polygamy...AT THE SAME TIME! Which honestly, is just so much BS. The only reason we'd have to remove "Father" from birth certificates is if there were widespread options that no longer required both sexes to produce a child. If science could fertilize an egg with another, modified egg, then yes, we have no need for "Father" on the birth certificate. Until then, I suspect it's sticking around.

As to the idea that suddenly everyone is going to want to marry goats, or inanimate objects, or children...that's even more crazy than the birth certificate idea. Marriage, as administered by the US Government, is simply a contract between two people. As you may be aware, animals, furniture and children are all incapable of entering into a legal contract, as they are not legally recognized as being able to give consent.

Oh, and this will destroy traditional marriage? People still seem to be happily married in Massachusetts. People aren't abandoning their families, and this isn't going to convince anyone that they shouldn't get married to the person they love. If it does, perhaps they shouldn't be getting married to that person anyway. People aren't going to suddenly discover they're gay, and run off on their wife to marry another man.

Also, since this is a legal contract, filed with a secular body (the US Government), I'd suggest that religion should play absolutely no part in this argument. Yes, 71% of Americans are some form of Christian. Some major denominations allow openly gay clergy, and even marry their gay members. So don't pretend that there's some overwhelming national desire to deny people the right to marry in a secular society. Your church is not going to be required to marry them, so don't require the government to abide by all the rules of your church.

Stop blaming the "activist" courts. Simply disagreeing with you doesn't make a court "activist." "But they're opposing the will of the people," you might say. Well good. That's what courts are there for. If you want will of the people, talk to your legislator or your executive. The courts are there to uphold the constitution, and protect the rights of minorities from abuse by the majority. In the case of California, what the courts did was reinforce the idea—from Brown v. Board of Education—that separate can never be equal. That California had set up homosexuals with a parallel system of civil unions, including all the rights and benefits of marriage. What these civil unions did, which made them unequal, was to say, by merit of being the same thing under a different name, "You are different, and are not allowed to engage in the same kind of contracts as everyone else because of your sexual orientation."

Sexual orientation, of course, is biologically wired in, likely before birth as a new study shows. As such, it is as immutable as your race, and thus discriminating on that basis is unconstitutional. This was the reasoning of the court, and sound reasoning at that. This is not some liberal court full of people trying to change society. This is, by all accounts, a conservative, cautious court. All but two members were appointed by Republican governors, and most have been confirmed by popular vote of the people. This is also not entirely against the will of the people. Twice, the California legislature passed gay marriage laws, and both times (if I recall correctly) they were vetoed, by Governor Schwarzenegger. He said that he was leaving this to the courts. Now the courts have decided, and he is standing behind that decision. The Republican governor of California is opposing the attempt to alter California's constitution in order to outlaw gay marriage.

So I hope people enjoyed Father's Day. You should enjoy the one next year, too, 'cause it's not going away anytime soon.


Listening to: Foo Fighters - Cheer Up Boys, Your Makeup Is Running
via FoxyTunes

No comments: