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Taking the Gays Out of Gay Marriage Bans

As the political pundits sort out the sweeping success of gay marriage bans this election cycle, one theme that has been emerging is that ignorant bigoted red state dwellers voted for these bans because they don't know enough homosexuals to appreciate the value of solemnizing homosexual romantic relationships.

Of course the problem with this line of thought is that it assumes the bans are more about gays than they are about marriage. This sort of thinking makes sense to some extent. If you have already written off marriage (as most costal dwelling blue state political pundits have) as merely a legal contractual arrangement between consenting adults, there would be no reason to pass a ban in defense of marriage, there is really nothing to defend from this perspective. Thus the logical conclusion is that these bans are necessarily an expression of intolerance towards gays.

If, one the other hand, you still believe that marriage does have some intrinsic worth, and thus still has meaning as a social institution, its preservation is not so much a reflection of hatred of homosexuals as it is a move to preserve an institution that has already been severely eroded by realities like no-fault divorce.

How quickly the pundits forget that it was pressure from gay rights groups and judicial activism in Massachusetts that necessitated these bans in the first place.

There has been a lot of talk lately about how we can reconcile our differences after the election, but in the case of gay marriage, I see no room for reconciliation. Contrary to the beliefs of political pundits that education is the answer, the opposition to gay marriage is not born of ignorance, but rather out of a respect for an institution they have dismissed that is under heavy attack. No amount of homosexual sensitivity training will turn the red states blue.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 11, 2004 5:01 PM.

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