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“With Liberty and Marriage for All”
Earlier this morning (and it’s 10am right now) California’s Supreme Court powerfully ruled that state marriage laws banning gay marriage is discriminatory and that homosexual couples should absolutely be permitted to exercise their natural right to marry. What is most interesting about today’s ruling is that California’s Supreme Court is primarily Republican-based.
No one expects this ruling to put an end to the gay marriage debate, however, it does put the issue of not just gay rights, but basic, civil rights and liberties back in the public eye. The issue experienced the most visibility back in 2004 when the Bush people brought it to the forefront in hopes of creating a “moral backlash” of conservative, moral-issue voters to turn out to the ballot boxes and help reelect Bush.
It again caught fire in the media when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome declared that “the city” will not only be a haven for gay marriage, but honor the commitment. Since then, the issue has largely trickled slowly into the subconscious.
As it stands now, there are 27 states in the union that have laws prohibiting gay marriage. Those 27 states may now have a little more work on their hands as California’s ruling this morning may just be the “cup of jolt” the rest of the nation needs. Traditionally, California has been the political trendsetter of the nation.
Frankly, the legal decision to allow gay marriage has been long overdue mostly because of people irrationally conflating “legal marriage” with “religious marriage.” Outside of the specious ranting of Bible-thumping, ultra-conservatives, there aren’t any good, valid, logical reasons to deny homosexuals the right of marriage.
A quick glance of the three most oft-used “arguments” show us exactly how unsound arguments against gay marriage are:
1. Gay parents produce gay kids. Really? Then why are there numerous stories about parents disowning their gay children? And besides, “produce” isn’t exactly the right word to use, is it, as gay couples can’t really produce. Which leads us to…
2. The express purpose of marriage is procreation. What arguments then, do we proffer for straight couples who can’t have children due to one being sterile? Do we annul their marriage? Better yet, what about those straight couples who have the audacity TO CHOOSE to not have children?
3. Gay marriage would destroy the sanctity of marriage. Hmmm…this may be the biggest fallacy of all. How sacred is the institution of marriage currently, with heterosexuals having a monopoly? The nation is experiencing a 51.4% divorce rate in heterosexual marriages. The divorce rate is especially high in Bible belt states like Texas, Alabama and Mississippi. And if marriage is so “sacred,” then why are J.Lo and Britney Spears allowed to make a mockery of it by getting married four times in six years, and for getting married as a drunken hoax, respectively?
It is high time we lived up to our Founding Fathers’ decree that all men (read: people) are created equal and that everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property, either way is fine by me).