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Opening Arguments

Ain't over till it's over

How to tell if an issue merits a lot more discussion: When liberals start saying "the debate is over":

Someday soon the fracas surrounding all this will seem like a historical artifact, like the notion that women were once prohibited from voting and a black individual from marrying a white one. Our children will attend the marriages of their friends, will chatter about whether they will last, will whisper to one another, "Love him, don't like him so much." The California Supreme Court called gay marriage a "basic civil right." In hindsight, it will merely be called ordinary life.

That's Anna Quindlen, writing in Newsweek. But in the same essay, she writes that immediately after the California decision,  "opponents were suggesting that civilization would crash and burn if two guys could register at Pottery Barn and raise kids in a ranch house." So, the debate isn't really over. What she means is that the debate should be over, if only everyone were as enlightened and as morally superior as she is.

The grandaddy of all "the debate is over" isssues is, of course, global warming, and Anna's right in there on that one, too -- one of the most complex, difficult-to-predict phenomena there is, and the debate is over. A definition of marriage that has been operational since the dawn of history, and the debate is over.


Mon, 06/02/2008 - 10:34am

Before I gave it much thought, I was a little sketchy about gays marrying. But, as a matter of logic, I can't think of a justification for banning gay marriage that: a) wouldn't also justify banning interracial marriage; and/or b) would permit marriage of infertile couples.

I don't think it's a good idea to force churches to perform religious rites on behalf of homosexual couples if they don't choose to do it, but as a matter of civil governance, I think gay couples probably ought to have access to the same bundle of rights available to heterosexual couples.

Mon, 06/02/2008 - 10:49am

Most of the reason government got involved in saying who could marry was to discriminate. It wasn't right in the first place, it isn't right now.

Government really shouldn't be involved at all, as far as I'm concerned, never mind what specific kind of marriage we're talking about.

Mon, 06/02/2008 - 5:07pm

The Pope disagrees with Doug:

[Pope] Benedict's opposition to homosexuality is longstanding. In 1986, [as Cardinal]Ratzinger [he] signed a ....doctrinal document declaring that ''It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behavior therefore acts immorally."

''This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves," he wrote then, ''but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent."

Benedict has spoken frequently about his concern that there is no absolute sense of right and wrong in modern society. On April 18, before the conclave at which he was elected pope, he warned that ''We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires."

From what I read above from Doug, he has had a sudden ipifany (based upon moral equivalence) that goes something like, "if interracial marriage is ok, then same sex marriage is ok."

The family unit is disappearing from our landscape and attention-seeking homosexuals (no reason to call them "gay") are driving further inward the wedge breaking up the family in America.

Harl Delos
Mon, 06/02/2008 - 5:53pm

Gadfly, his epiphany probably has to do with the traditional definition of marriage, was "one man and one woman, of the same race". From 1913 until 1948, 30 out of the then 48 states were putting people in prison for violating such a definition. There were still 16 states doing so in 1967, when the SCOTUS said "taint right".

When gays marry each other, they aren't breaking up family units, they are forming family units. It's people who divorce or who abandon their families who are breaking up family units. (Well, and those who kill their spouses in order to end their marriage. After all, it's a sin to remarry unless your first spouse is dead, according to this country's largest christian church.)

One reason to use the word "gay" rather than "homosexual" is that there are different meanings. A is gay is openly homosexual, and is accepting of himself.

Another reason to use the word gay rather than homosexual, especially on the site of a newspaper editor, is that's what they call themselves. Most newspaper stylebooks say to call someone what they call themselves.

That's why Roseanne is now referred to as Roseanne Barr, not Roseanne Pentland, nor Roseanne Pentland, nor Roseanne Arnold, nor Roseanne Thomas, nor just plain Roseanne, each of which were names used in the past. Unlike news broadcasters like Faux News, newspapers generally try to practice common courtesy. That practice, however, is disappearing from our landscape even far faster than the family unit.

If you're so upset about "the family unit disappearing from the landscape", tell us what YOU are doing something to solve the problem. Do you have a half-dozen wifes, each with a dozen kids or so? Is that strengthening America?

Marriage is a religious rite. Government has no legitimate reason to interfere with it, nor to sanction it.

You don't go to prison because your wife breaks the law, you don't get to have your wife show up for jury duty because you get summoned, your wife isn't allowed to prescribe medicines and perform surgery on your medical license while you recover from an auto accident, and you don't get to cast your wife's vote as well as your own so that she can stay home and watch the kids. Why should we grant special tax breaks to some people who have participated in a religious ceremony but not others, based on their religion?

Tue, 06/03/2008 - 7:25am

What Harl said.

And yes, Leo, the debate is over. It's over because the people raising the fuss in opposition to gay marriage never had any rightful say in it.

Gay marriage doesn't undermine the family. What it undermines is the authority of hellfire and brimstone preachers who fear that a disobedient world makes them look like they have egg on their faces.

And the granddaddy of "the debate is over" isn't global warming but evolution, although there's an undeniable similarity in that both pit scientists against morons. These are "debates" only as far as the morons are concerned.