Friday, May 16, 2008

California Supreme Court Says Gays have the Right to Marry

"The California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples," the court said in a 121-page decision that gives gays unprecedented rights.

For today, I'm turning into the Philosophical Old Man. Seems I'm doing a lot of that lately. Both of my regular readers have probably noticed my blog is as much my philosophical search for answers as it is my delivering the answers to everything else.

This is not a sign that I have mellowed, for those who know me are well aware that I can turn into a ranting, raving, spittle spewing a-hole in much less time than it took to read this sentence. I am maturing, though. Never confuse the two. Maturity is the ever increasing recognition of the human condition, and our place in this vast framework known as the world. Mellowing means we just don't care. I'll probably never be mellow.

Back to today's topic. I truly do not understand all the aspects of it from the gay perspective, and would welcome any comments to help me understand. And I do not want to, nor have any intenton of addressing the issue as to whether being gay is a choice, nature, or anything else. I also won't discuss the religious aspects of gay activities because it is between the individuals involved and God. Last I checked, I marked answer "C. None of the above."

Here is my understanding of the marriage issue. I only understand the objections, to be honest. Civil unions are legal in many states. I know they are in mine. These give every right to gay individuals except the right to marry. They appear to be, to me, the same as a marriage. What is the big deal? Marriage usually has religious overtones, and, as such, is considered to be between a man and a woman, at least within the realms of all the religions of which I am familiar. I don't believe such a provision (civil unions) lessens anyone in any way.

Please, I welcome any comments to help explain why this way of thinking should be changed.


Kate said...

Hey philosopher,

I've been a proponent of gay marriage for a while, and while I'm not an expert, I think this is what it comes down to: yes, civil unions are pretty darn close to marriage.

But, as a straight woman in love with my husband I didn't want a civil union, I wanted a wedding with the officiant of my choice who would marry us.

I think any person, straight, gay, whatever, who is in love, deserves to make that choice for themselves.

It's sort of like the separate but equal idea from the civil rights era. A civil union might be darn close to marriage, but it's not, when you come right down to it, marriage.

And, ultimately, by telling gay people that they can have a civil union but not a marriage you're saying that they're kind of equal, but still separate.

Babchi said...

Well, as a very old lady with a gay sister, it seems like a pretend marriage. But, it is a step in the direction of becoming equal in the eyes of the acceptable is that? Are they being thrown a bone?

Da Old Man said...

I have thought about this issue for quite some time, and will admit that originally I was opposed, because I thought that civil unions would provide what was needed.

I have read much lately that has changed my mind somewhat. Yet I still harbor the fear that this will be a "gateway" decision, so to speak, that will force churches to perform the ceremony. This will then blur the line of the seperation of church and state.

If I had that reassurance, I would embrace the decision whole- heartedly. Until then, I sit and await the other shoe to drop, so to speak.

timethief said...

No matter what excuses may be offered to mask homophobia, hatred and systemic discrimination, the fact remains that one either believes that it’s reasonable that every citizen within a democracy be entitled to equal rights and equal access to all government services and that the courts uphold that right or not.

I do believe in equality and I have no respect for hypocrites.

FleeceTraveler said...

I agree with Kate's comments above. I think every person should have the right to make that choice for themselves.

There are churches that openly accept same sex couples into the congregation. I doubt these churches will feel forced to perform the ceremonies. They will probably welcome the opportunity (and the accompanying fee/donation) to perform this additional service. Do you foresee same sex couples banging on the door of a close minded church and demanding that they perform the ceremony or else they will bring a lawsuit against the church? Why would anyone want to get married in a place they didn't feel welcomed?

Da Old Man said...

I read the 10 Commandments, and such relationships were never mentioned. I believe they were given by God. My only conclusion is that either God did not consider it to be a big deal, or he forgot to include this edict.

I'm going with it not being a big deal. That being said, I still fear ACLU intervention in matters of religion/state. It takes only one complaint for them to start a lawsuit.

Kate said...

The 10 Commandments didn't specifically say that interracial marriages were okay, and people used that to keep whites and blacks apart for decades.

Also, I agree with whoever wrote that few if any gay people will be banging down the door of close-minded congregations to be married. I just don't see it happening.

How would that conversation go..."I know you hate me and think I'm an abomination, but would you do me the honor of officiating at my wedding?"

Da Old Man said...

You presume people are all honest and pure of intention like you are.

If I wanted to hurt a local conservative church, it would be easy enough, if the law does not have the proviso to keep church and state seperate. Simply insist a church perform the ceremony. The the ACLU could then be used to sue the church into bankruptcy.
People throughout history have done greater evil for less payoff.

pamela said...

I don't see this as an issue of rights as far as insurance or even fancy weddings,it will be about children and adoption.
As for beating down the church doors as Kate says I do see it being attempted...time will tell. Some of the activists are so militant that it makes many feel uncomfortable.This is sad because I think it makes people put up more walls.

JD from Hoeno said...

We claim to be a free country. I don't think we are living up to that example right now with the issue of gay marriage. As far as not being a big deal, the sad thing is that it's made out to be one of the biggest deals right now. We could focus on much bigger issues if we got this crap out of the way and gave people their rights. It's interesting to me because I feel it's obvious that we'll eventually have all fifty states on the same page here, relenting on this issue after throwing numerous, frightened tantrums. We could just get it over with. Prolonging the inevitable isn't helping the country. I'm a straight man and I am constantly surprised by how threatened people seem to be about the prospect of gay marriage. It's really very puzzling to me.

Ed said...

There should ONLY be civil union for all!

The law crossed over the church/state line long, long ago. Under law if their is a civil union then everyone is to be treated the same. The state usurped the churches term married and created laws around that term.

What happens in the church is outside of that law. If the church wants to perform some ritual and call the two participants married that is a right of the church.