Gay Marriage: Healthy Debate Must Not Stifled
OK, I'll say what few others else will: The love which formerly dared not speak its name, now not only shouts it from the housetops and on prime time TV shows, it has become a domineering, covetous love, seeking to take for itself more than what rightfully belongs to it. Gay marriage is simply a bridge too far. As a gay man, I am saddened by the license political correctness issues to same-sex marriage proponents to be uncivil and repress debate.
I was a panelist at a Town Hall meeting held near Annapolis several days ago, explaining to my fellow Marylanders why they should vote against Question 6, regarding same-sex marriage. At one point, a man stood up to ask a question. He, along with every other person in the room, knew that I am gay, so he prefaced his point with, "First of all, I need to state that I am not a 'hater,'" before continuing on.
My reaction surprised the crowd: "It's a tragedy that anyone who questions the plausibility of an idea as implausible as same sex marriage, fears being labeled a homophobe. It's perfectly reasonable to question the viability of this new law -- a controversial law which passed only narrowly on a partisan vote in our legislature."
As actively engaged citizens, we are supposed to be involved in healthy, productive debates about this topic from one end of the Free State to the other in advance of casting our ballots. But for some reason, decent folks with legitimate viewpoints frequently choose to remain silent. Why?
We've seen pundits like the Washington Post's Richard Cohen saying, "The opponents [of same sex marriage] have no case other than ignorance and misconception and prejudice," (June 28, 2011). Is a statement like this intended to invite robust debate, or shut it down?
Who can forget the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco last summer, vowing to exile beyond their city limits any person or business (i.e., Chick-Fil-A) questioning the notion of same-sex marriage? Seems more like tyranny than collegial dialogue.
When the Washington Blade published the names and addresses of everyone who signed the same-sex marriage petition which led to Question 6's inclusion on the Maryland ballot, this incited multiple instances of personal harassment. It led to people being confronted by strangers in their driveways. It went so far as to jeopardize the employment of Gallaudet University's Chief Diversity Officer, Angela McCaskill. These types of incidents are meant to intimidate those who hold a differing view from expressing their views. Yet these folks had only signed a petition, not a letter of condemnation.
People who don't have a prejudiced, homophobic bone in their bodies are afraid to make known the fact that they're not prepared to jump on board with same-sex marriage. The too-clever proponents of the new law have conflated the issue of ending prejudice against gays with the notion of same-sex marriage. They are unrelated.
This disingenuous tactic must end before true debate can be had about the issue.
Let's face facts: Government has no interest in sanctioning our romantic relationships. Its sole interest is protecting the one and only entity which is capable of bringing new citizens into the world, and providing for their care until adulthood brings self-sufficiency.
The proponents of same sex marriage often assert, "I should be able to marry anyone I love, regardless of gender." This begs the question, "What's love got to do with it?" In the eyes of the state, love should be completely inconsequential to marriage. Nowhere on your state's marriage license application does it ask, "Do you love each other?" Same-sex marriage proponents need to stop putting forth this subterfuge, and be willing to engage in serious intellectual debate.
Another argument frequently employed claims "We need to evolve." It is alleged that our nation's definition of marriage had previously evolved with the advent of "Loving v. Virginia," which struck down a law prohibiting interracial marriage. This is spurious. The Virginia Legislature earlier had corrupted the definition of marriage by banning mixed marriages. The "Loving v. Virginia" ruling simply restored the true definition of marriage, which is the union of a man and a woman, regardless of race.
The best thing concerned citizens can do is to simply speak up. Don't allow yourself to be cowed into silence. It's OK to disagree with the notion of same-sex marriage.