Gay Activists Should Turn the Gun on the Enemy
Gay activists should turn the gun on the enemy instead of repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.
Homosexuals, God bless 'em, keep shooting themselves in the foot politically. They seem bound and determined to wipe out any chance of getting what they want out of marriage because they are hung up on the word "marriage." I have been following this issue for some time and now have some advice for my friend-loving friends.
In September of 2003, Homosexuals believed they'd won a victory in Massachusetts when the Supreme Court of that state endorsed Gay Marriage. If you call sticking a hot poker into the eyes of the only people who can help you enact a Federal Law endorsing gay unions of any type and raising the ire of the 98% of the population that is not gay a victory, then "good show fellas." Subsequently, Representative Barney Frank came out against the "marriages" that later began taking place in San Francisco on Valentine's Day. Mayor Gavin Newsome should have listened to him. Since then, the California Supreme Court (not exactly a conservative hotbed) has ruled the marriages unconstitutional and the Mayor's political prospectus has gone from reading "the next Bill Clinton" to "has-been pretty boy with no political capital outside of Haight-Ashbury." People with liberal leanings should take Representative Frank's advice and think before they act when dealing with such a politically sensitive issue. Sane liberals of all inclinations should be rabidly paranoid of this movement.
The political wrath of the federal politicians and media started almost instantly after Massachusetts. If the chosen path had been to abandon the "M" word and secure the rights and privileges every gay wants to have with some other word, advocates would have been less of a target for the radical right. Civil Unions might have slipped in under the radar and advocates of these rights would be a leg up already. But the insistence on the use of the word "marriage"--with all its attached religious and legal implications--has raised the hackles of almost every religious or traditionalist individual in the country. Using the words "Civil Union" circumvents all the religious arguments, winning half the battle up front.
We already know that most Republicans will vote to defeat progress on this issue. Many Democrats may someday be forced to follow suit thanks to the pressure exerted by the decision of the Supreme Court in early 2004 not to hear a challenge to the Massachusetts law. In order to placate the 98% of us who are not gay, lawmakers must now consider laws banning Gay Marriage when they could be considering laws endorsing Civil Unions. If proponents of equal rights for gays continue to insist on using the word "marriage" most of the viable Democratic Presidential candidates for 2008--plus Congressmen, Senators and their challengers from both parties--will be forced to take a position against gay "marriage" in order to get elected. In this climate, passing a constitutional amendment banning gay "marriage" forever will be easy.
Joining two persons together for life can be traced back in time without ever figuring out conclusively which authority begat which, church or state. In many early instances they are indistinguishable. The tipping point for me as to who must have originated the concept and who holds the ultimate authority in handing out marriages is that even the weddings of Kings required the sanction of a member of the dominant church. Most Kings or governments throughout history have either claimed or dictated a belief in a god of one sort or another. Marriage has been secularized over time by governments all over the world. The fact that a religious establishment (marriage) is endorsed by government in direct violation of our Constitution is the root problem for us here in America. The Separation Clause in our Constitution was an attempt to secularize government, an attempt to eliminate interactions between church and state in order to protect each from undermining the other (to try something new). Marriage was simply allowed to "fall through the cracks" because of tradition. I argue that these "cracks" never existed and that the current political storm over gay marriage is what will force us to finally correct this oversight.
If true separation of church and state existed, we would not be having this argument. We should secure equal rights for gays who want to get "married" without using the term "Marriage." It gets gays what they want without further blurring the line between church and state. I would venture that most folks who endorse gay "marriage" also support the Separation Clause of the Constitution. If the Supreme Court takes any position on this matter either way, it will by its action inject government into what should be a purely religious debate. Make no mistake; "Marriage" is a preponderantly religious institution. It has been adopted into U.S. law over the years in clear violation of the Separation Clause of the Unites States Constitution. If the Supreme Court of the United States is forced into making a decision pertaining to "Marriage," gay or straight, it will enshrine for the first time, constitutionally based case law binding church and state. What gays are trying to do now and what everyone else has been doing all along clearly violates the implied separation of Church and State set out in the First Amendment.
The ACLU to my astonishment appears to support the gay agenda. If they would just look past the end of their noses to the long term consequences they would be backing "Civil Unions." You would think that these words, uttered by every leader of a Church who performs a marriage, "And now by the power vested in me by (insert your local jurisdiction here)," would be prima fascia evidence of this ongoing traditional violation of the First Amendment. The only one that should be vesting power in the Church is God.
So, let religious types keep "Marriage" as a religious pact. Let the church win the semantic argument. Let them call it (as President Bush has done) a "sacred" institution. This adds weight to the argument to apply the Separation Clause to "Marriage." Force government to treat all Americans the same with respect to legal and civil rights by using a different word that the Church has no historical authority to exercise sanction over. By doing this you categorically eliminate the Church's right to participate in the argument. Without the church's ideologically driven fanatical input, working out the details of enforcement of ordinary rights between individuals and the state would be relegated to an obscure committee somewhere on Capitol Hill and then passed by Congress as a "Bill that benefits everyone in America."
Renaming the government's description of marriage and letting the church keep performing religious "Marriage" ceremonies is far more desirable than fighting to change the traditional definition. It will give equal rights to everyone under the law without any religious taint or blessing and further delineate the bright line the First Amendment draws between church and state. The Congress needs to pass legislation as soon as possible separating marriage from any codification by government. All "Marriages" previously endorsed by government should revert to "Civil Unions" and the ability of anyone to enter into these unions in the future should be broadly allowed. Whether gay or straight, couples "Married" in a church by a member of the clergy can call themselves "Married." The "Civil Union" (the nomenclature of both state and federal governments for "marriage") would provide the underlying rights and legal implications. Everyone would likely still use the word "marriage" to describe a "Civil Union" contract or a church sanctioned "Marriage" ceremony that includes an underlying "Civil Union" contract, no-one can stop that, but that would just be traditional, not legally binding.
The current path being followed by radical supporters of gay marriage will seal the deal on the Supreme Court making the final call. The Court will not vote in your favor and in the process, may damage the First Amendment that helps protect all of us. In fact, when the politicians see that day coming, the Supreme Court won't even get the chance. They will pass a constitutional amendment that will destroy most of the fruits of years of activism that will have occurred by then. If they do that, the First Amendment won't have been damaged--it will have been shredded. Try to have some foresight people. You're winning battles that will likely cost you the war--and hurt everyone.
If we don't soon get back to the secular view of government our forefathers intended to set in stone by adopting the First Amendment, "God help us all."
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