Marriage: yours, mine, and theirs

On CNN’s “State of the Union” this morning, Candy Crowley pressed GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on the issue of same-sex marriage. She was polite and respectful, but insistent. The governor was equally pleasant, but utterly unconvincing.

Crowley asked several times, in several different ways, “how does same-sex marriage harm traditional marriage?” The question was never adequately answered. Because there is no adequate answer. The legalization of gay marriage does not in any way harm or threaten or affect anyone else’s marriage. I can marry anyone I want to marry, with the exception of minors. I can marry a foreigner, I can marry someone older or younger, I can marry someone of another race. I can marry any eligible man I want to marry. And finally, belatedly, in six states, I can, if I want to, marry an eligible woman. Other adults have the same rights. Who they marry in no way affects my marriage, nor does my marriage in any way affect theirs.

Pawlenty cited custom as a defense of traditional marriage. He also made reference to procreation and family. Custom is not law; it’s habit and personal preference. In the case of same-sex marriage, the only reason it isn’t part of our society and custom is because it has been illegal, a deliberate denial of equal rights. Procreation and family aren’t valid defenses either. Plenty of traditional marriages do not or cannot produce children. Even when they do, there’s no guarantee the result will be a stable, loving family. Furthermore, plenty of children are born to unwed parents.

Pawlenty wisely did not refer to religious or biblical edicts on marriage. After all, there are a lot of voters out there to whom such things are meaningless. Religion is not law in this country, and someone else’s religious beliefs have no legal bearing on my rights.

That leaves little more than personal preference and prejudice as grounds for opposing same-sex marriage. And that’s not good enough.

8 thoughts on “Marriage: yours, mine, and theirs

  1. I stopped in for a little of that same interview, and was so enraged by his ducking and dodging that I had to turn to something else. You said “Religion is not law in this country, and someone else’s religious beliefs have no legal bearing on my rights.” While you are, obviously, correct from a technical standpoint, the fact is that guys like Pawlenty do everything in their power to make religious custom into de facto law.

    Proposition 8 out in California is a clear example of this. As a man of African American descent, it causes me no end of pain that my culture – one that should stand strong against any kind of civil rights violations – is so homophobic. And it was the African American church community that played such a huge role in the whole Proposition 8 fiasco.

    1. I was more of a Ron Paul fan before he embraced the conservative movement to improve his chances for the presidency, but his Libertarian roots show well in that example and he is absolutely right.

  2. IzaakMak… enlighten me. What aspect of the conservative movement has Ron Paul embraced to improve his chances for the presidency. I seriously don’t know of any change in his philosophy and I’ve been watching him closely for almost 30 years. I’d be glad to know of any such movement, or even a perception of it because he needs to know if he’s given anyone that impression… and I’ll tell him.

    1. You know Joe, I must apologize. I just assumed that Paul’s stances against abortion and embryonic stem cell research were just political ploys to garner approval from the conservatives, but maybe it was actually the Libertarians who embraced a socially conservative Ron Paul to improve their chances at the white house.

  3. Those are his personal beliefs, IzaakMak. They have no impact on his philosophy of governance. I thought you meant some change in his official positions. If (for instance) he has ever said anything that gave you the impression that his personal beliefs would have any impact on his political positions, that would be the kind of thing I believe he’d want to correct. I’m not aware of any, but if you are, I’d like to be able to point it out to him.

    1. Good point Joe. And no, I can’t think of any statements he’s made like that. But then, I can’t honestly say that I’ve paid close enough attention to know. I’ve been pretty disillusioned about the whole process since I backed Reagan as the more “libertarian” choice over Carter and Anderson, and again over Mondale.

  4. IzaakMak… Your disillusionment is well founded.

    To be honest, I haven’t voted for any presidential winner – ever. Beginning with Goldwater.

    Lots of people tell me I’m throwing my vote away voting for libertarians, but I can argue against that point because my vote has never created, or broken a tie. As a really, really anal libertarian (small “L”) – I didn’t vote for the ex-Republican Bob Barr either. You can’t fool me that easy.

... and that's my two cents