Voters Say Gay is Not OK

Liberty is not the same thing as freedom from criticism.

The big news of Election 2009 is a resurgent conservative movement.  "Change" is the order of the day - Change last year, and more Change this year.

There's one major issue, however, that has not changed: American voters from sea to shining sea do not think that the government should dignify homosexual liasons with the name of "marriage."

The interesting thing about this debate is how different it is from most other issues.  From taxes to abortion, the major hot-button national concerns each have their state bastions.

South Dakota would outlaw abortion entirely if it could; Illinois happily permits it right up until the moment of birth, and arguably even afterwards.  The actual laws in place don't fully reflect the views of the constituents because the Supreme Court doesn't permit them to, but differences in public opinion are deep and profound.

Not so with homosexual marriage!  Yes, there are individual localites that strongly feel the gender mix of a marriage is irrelevant, as San Francisco famously demonstrated.

To the pundits' surprise, however, even that most liberal of states, California as a whole, voted against homosexual marriage when the people were given a chance to do so via Proposition 8.  And Prop 8 was the second time around, the first time had the same result but was rejected by activist judges who prefer their opinions to the will of the people.

In every state where the voters have been given the opportunity to express their will directly, without a single exception, that will is always the same no matter how conservative or liberal they might otherwise be: marriage is one thing and homosexuality is quite another.  Those states which permit homosexual marriage do so by judicial fiat, as in Massachusetts, or by vote of elected representatives as in New Hampshire.

Actually, Massachusetts provides a cautionary example: a heavily-supported referendum on the subject was killed by the legislature, in clear contradiction of the state Constitution.  Alas, the court which would rule on the constitutional violation was the same court that created the problem in the first place; the view of the voters was not so much flouted as actively suppressed.

Once again, we see a socially liberal state finding that, when it comes right down to it, marriage is one of those things that should be left alone: The State of Maine chalks up another referendum victory, overruling the legislature, Governor, and courts on the subject.

In the teary-eyed liberal media reports, a fascinating observation shines through.  One dejected would-be participant in a homosexual union had this to say about the result:

It's a personal rejection of us and our relationship.

Quite so - and the sooner the far left realizes it, the better.  Nobody on any side of the political spectrum wishes harm to homosexuals; nobody significant believes that the police should be bashing in doors of consenting adults.  But there's a big difference between believing that private consensual homosexual behavior is not the proper purview of government - which pretty much everybody agrees with nowadays - versus requiring that such unions be celebrated and honored by one and all under force of law.

Really, it's the flip side of the "leave me alone" theory of government.  People of the homosexual persuasion had a point when they wanted government out of their lives and bedrooms; we can all sympathize there.  People of the religious persuasion have an equal point when they say that they do not wish to be forced to participate, aid, abet, or respect actions that their religion finds abhorrent.

Why can't we just leave each other alone?  If we could do that, everybody should be mostly content.

The more the far left and the extremist homosexual activists try to push their agenda down the throats of voters, they will discover that there are a lot more religious voters than homosexual ones - and that, to the vast middle ground, ministers and the devout are rather more sympathetic than Sacha Baron Cohen's BrĂ¼no Gehard prancing and singing, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!"

If they were wise, liberal homosexuals would take their gains and leave the political forefront.  That they don't demonstrates the true nature of liberalism: it's not enough that people be free to go your own way, everyone must be forced to treat all ways as equal whether they like it or not.  If everything is equally valid and acceptable and above any sort of criticism... then nothing is, and we have no freedom at all.

Is that the liberals' true agenda?  To force us all into the tyranny of permitting no moral standards, religious rules, or societal preferences whatsoever?

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
I always thought gays had it wrong.. instead of seeking the state's blessing on their union, better to simply form a partnership- not necessarily restricted to two people- and incorporate; no need to call it marriage, since Conservatives and gay-bashers freak out, but simply a domestic partnership in the true sense of the term: sharing expenses, hopes, dreams and defeats and getting on with their lives. And if others don't like, it is someone else's problem, and true democracy in action.
And there are tax benefits too, as in any business: deductions, discounts at big box stores, and other write-offs.
Gay unions are here to stay, whether we hide our heads in the sand and bless them: not my business, not yours either.
November 13, 2009 8:36 AM
The issue is that homosexuals are not able to have many of the legal rights of heterosexual marriage. I am very sympathetic that a homosexual couple is not always able to see each other when one is dying in a hospital.

There must be some form of middle ground found. Homosexuals must learn to deal with the fact that they can not force themselves on everyone. That not everyone will accept them. Just as not everyone will ever accept Christians.

Of course I do not like the idea that a man and a woman can get married at a drive through. I do not consider that marriage any more than a homosexual union. The government should remove itself from the term 'marriage.' Civil unions should be the only thing that any state will permit. Allow Churches to define for themselves what marriage is.
November 13, 2009 9:21 AM
Why does marriage affect who can see whom in the hospital? If I want to see my best friend and tell the doctor so, how dare they not allow it?

The solution to that sort of problem is so trivially simple that it can only be a red herring: Much like people can sign medical powers of attorney, make a simple standard form for people to list and sign off on "Who Can Come See Me In The Hospital." Problem solved.
November 13, 2009 9:50 AM
jonyfires may have been referring to when a patient is taking to the hospital and does not have the ability sign in - they are unconscious or near death. When the spouse (in this case, the gay partner) rushes to the hospital, the front desk will not allow them access even though a traditional spouse would be allowed.

But even for that, a couple can have a living will or power of attorney document prepared ahead of time that the hospital CAN AND DO honor for gay partners.

The entire concept of marriage, as a government contract, should be obsolete. Anyone that wants to can get a will and power of attorney drafted saying what they share, what they leave to each other and are allowed to do (pull the plug, visit at hospitals, etc).

Of course, that would mean traditional marriages would become moot as well. The Christian Right will probably never back that. I wonder why, though, given their understanding of what marriage really is.
November 13, 2009 10:14 AM
Well, you have two separate issues here, I think. First, you have issues of practicality, like hospital visits. As has been pointed out already, those are so easy to solve for everybody in every situation, with five minutes' advance planning, that it's hardly worth discussing them further.

But if government got out of the marriage business entirely and just let people do whatever contracts and POAs they pleased, you still have one problem remaining: Given that a stable, traditional, nuclear family is the only historically proven systemic way to effectively raise and socialize children to be the next generation of productive citizens, there is a strong argument that society (via its government) ought to encourage it.

Traditionally this has been done through marriage preferences. Maybe that doesn't work anymore, but if so, they should be replaced by something else with the same intent.

We have caused no end of problems by permitting government to take the place of fathers, thus leading to an epidemic of multi-generational single-mother families and the associated crime and poverty. This needs to be undone, not codified into a legal overhaul in which government doesn't give a hoot who is or is not married to whom or what or for what reason.
November 13, 2009 10:26 AM
The reproductive rate in the US has been dropping steadily ever since the government has increased the per-child tax deductions and credits.

My point is: government CANNOT encourage procreation and social stability in any useful way, no matter how hard it tries.

All it can do is restrict freedom and waste time and money.
November 13, 2009 10:38 AM
Having never been in a situation where only a spouse is allowed to see a patient I do not know the procedure to be allowed to see them. However, I would say that the last thing I would want to deal with is trying to get a lawyer to fax some documents to a hospital so I could see a loved one.

The reason I believe the government should get out of the 'marriage business' is purely for semantics. Marriage has a special meaning to me as a Christian, certain responsibilities on both parties to the marriage. As such any person that does not respect those responsibilities I would say is not married in any sense other than law.

As such I do not believe that the law should get involved with 'marriage.' If some people want to get married for a weekend right now they could certainly do that. That is not marriage, even less so than devoted homosexual couples in my opinion.

There are certainly legal benefits to being legally married that do need to be continued. Certain rights that one party in a marriage has in respect to the other person. Inheritance, life insurance, visitation rights ect. Since it is the word 'marriage' that myself and many others are hung up on it seems the best course of action to keep these legal right while avoid that word is to simply change the word.

Hence every where in law books where marriage occurs should simply be replaced with 'Civil Union.' From my perspective that would solve the issue.
November 13, 2009 1:33 PM
Good Morning everyone... "Jonyfries" had much good and no bad to say: Civil unions, marriage: it is a semantic and ultimately legal issue, one which can be clearly defined in a court, and the legislature (and other politicians) must be kept out of the picture, as well as interfering citizens who think it is their business to control others' lives. One often hear Liberals berated for their advocating government controls over aspects of lifestyles: they should be, be the force of force is unjustified in any such instance; it is clearly unneeded here, as consenting adults have the power to enter into contracts, socially (and sexually) interact and add value to Happiness; if someone thinks it's immoral, I got three words: DON'T DO IT~!
.. and stay the %^&* out of my life
November 16, 2009 5:57 AM
I'm not entirely sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with my position irvn.

The concept of marriage (regardless of what we call it legally) is important within American society. As such there must be a relatively simply way for people to achieve all of the legal rights that marriage confers. To complicate the procedure would simply lead to many people avoiding it all together.
November 16, 2009 7:22 PM
You're right Jony .. I am seeking an adequate expression for my values; my methods to date have been somewhat chaotic, even patronising or rude, and for that I apologise. I think people who are in love romantically and wish to celebrate a legal recognition of such need not necessarily confuse the issue with incendiary words; for those who disagree, the issue will not evaporate: like civil rights, a certain momentum has already been gained, a juggernaut which will upset a few but in reality cause no loss of property nor liberty.
Unfortunately there is little respect, cordiality or just plain politeness in this and a few other matters, like health care, the Gitmo detainees and other remnants of the past administrations.. since Mr Bush Senior anyway.
The presumption of personal rights, including property, civil liberties and other such personal privacy issues have been diluted, even refuted, by elected officials for their personal and political prestige- as if value were in laws passed and lives mutilated- and that disgusts, worries and even torques me too no small end.
November 16, 2009 10:59 PM
You seem to place significant blame for lost freedom on Republicans but you do not think about the same issues on the part of Democrats.

The Republicans and Democrats both seek to take away freedoms, they are simply different freedoms. Many Republicans would attempt to control what people do in their bedroom. Many Democrats would take away the rights of people express Christian beliefs in public.

It is a constant through out history that people fear that which is not like themselves. Both sides have members of their parties that would seek to illegalize behaviors that they see as dangerous to society. Regardless of if the behavior actually poses a threat to any person.
November 16, 2009 11:11 PM
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