Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Why I Support Gay Marriage

This is intended for folks who oppose gay marriage and intend to vote Yes on the upcoming Minnesota amendment that would define marriage as just between one man and one woman.

I support gay marriage (as you can see in the title of the post here) but I stand apart from many gay marriage supporters.  I think that they're too quick to insult and belittle those who disagree with them, Chris Kluwe, being a prime example.  I think it's possible (very possible!) to simply explain why you support gay marriage.  Most people are reasonable and will at the very least give you a polite listen if you treat them with some basic respect.  Anyway, I decided that it was probably time to figure out what my five minute pitch would be.  Here goes.

Back in 2005, when I was thinking of proposing and during my short engagement, I thought about marriage quite a bit.  Well duh, right?  But I thought about why I wanted to get married instead of simply living together.  After all, I'd often been told that a marriage certificate is simply a piece of paper, right?
Well, I had my reasons and they seemed good enough to me.  I don't think I'll have to work too hard to convince anyone who is trying to protect the tradition of marriage that overall, being married is better than simply co-habitating.  Not too long into my thought process it dawned on me that every reason I had for marrying would also apply to every gay couple that wanted to get married.
I wanted to tie my fortune to another person that I loved.  So did they.
I wanted to stand up in front of family, community and the state and publicly make vows.  So did they.
I wanted to the world to treat me as part of a permanent couple.  So did they.
This was a real eye-opener for me and in some ways I feel very badly about that.  It's sometimes too easy to not recognize the deep desires of others, especially if it's an abstract group.  (It was for me!)  But the key to my supporting gay marriage was realizing that this was the ultimate goal for every gay and lesbian couple out there that is clamoring for marriage.  They want the same things.  Each of them has found the person that they want to be with (hopefully) for the rest of their life and they want to make that work they best way they can.
All the rest is extra.  Oh, I don't mean to say that things like visitation rights, custody rights for children and all the other things that we include in marriage aren't important.  They are, and the lack of those things is a clear injustice in some situations.  But at the heart of the issue are a small group of people who just want to stand up, proclaim their love and be bound by vows of marriage.  I think it's in societies best interest to let them.  Hell, we should stand up and encourage them!  This is especially true when there are children involved (which happens more often than you might think).
I guess I'd also like to ask a question.  Feel free to answer if you want, but more importantly think it through over the next few weeks.  If gay marriage were legal in MN what would the long term consequences be?  What bad things would happen in the next few years?  In the next twenty years?  The next hundred?  The benefits seem clear to me.  What is the down side?
And that's my pitch.  I don't know if it will change any minds but there it is.



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