A recent article pointed out that the Indiana GOP voted to keep traditional marriage language in the party platform. As I read through the article, and in particular the comments, it appears the Republican view of gay marriage is about garnering votes while Democrats believe the rhetoric that paints opponents of gay marriage as hate filled loons. Well, the former is straight up pandering. In the same token, hatred is used as an emotional whip to rally the Democratic base. Ignoring that political posturing, the issue more appropriately should be characterized as a disagreement among two groups, Christians and LGBT. Christians don’t hate the LGBT community, they disagree that the definition of marriage should include same sex unions.
Christians have enjoyed a tradition of marriage based on Biblical teaching and religious faith. Despite the language of the chosen passage, the bible defines marriage as one man and one women. Christians responded with opposition when the same sex marriage debate came to the fore. That is not hatred or wrong. That is a rational response to a generational belief based on their religious values. The problem is that laws and protections are intertwined in the sanctity of marriage.
The alternative for the gay and lesbian community has been the proffered civil unions. The gay and lesbian argument against civil unions is premised on those unions not including all of the protections under marriage. In the debate back and forth between marriage and civil unions, common law marriage is raised with little or no attention at all. Surprisingly, this may be the viable alternative that can provide the marriage protections sought by the gay and lesbian community without the opposition from the traditional marriage proponents. I have spoken to a few who favor traditional marriage, yet would accept common law marriage for same sex unions.
In the escalation of the gay marriage debate, the question then becomes would it benefit to press the Christian opposition on same sex marriage or would it benefit to petition for civil union or common law protections to be expanded? Gay marriage advocates suggest that it is unfair that Christians deprive them of marriage equality. However, it would seem to be just as unfair to disrespect Christians’ belief in the sanctity of marriage when there are legislative options. To answer the question, the legislative route of civil union or common law might be the quieter process, but would not carry the political ramifications of engaging the supporters of traditional marriage head on.
Gay marriage has been hijacked by political terrorists who use the issue to instill fear in those opposed to gay marriage. Look at what happened to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. If a person of means can be taken down, then the average Joe has that much more to lose without the same financial fortitude. The narrative then becomes one which identifies traditional marriage supporters, and all conservatives by proxy, as hate filled bigots. That doesn’t support equality for all, but does help in many ways to promote other liberal policy agendas from race to income inequality. In all cases, the mantra is that conservatives hate you, which is astronomically far from the truth.
That’s where I stand. If I haven’t offended you, then I haven’t tried hard enough.