Am I missing some larger point, some distinction with difference lurking just beneath the surface of things? Or is the truth staring me straight in the face, daring me to state it?
There seems to me an awful lot of existential tap-dancing around the topic of gay marriage. As though there were any legal principle supporting the notion that people should be treated differently because of accidents of libido.
Connecticut lawmakers are patting themselves on the back for being only half coward. The state's Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would give gay couples almost as many rights as straight couples. I can marry my wife, but a gay man or woman seeking to wed would get second-class status in a so called civil union. Civil union
Why not just print yellow Hs and require gay people to have them embroidered on their clothing?
Oh, it is progess of a sort to see Connecticut on the cusp of joining Vermont as the only other state to recognize second-class status for gay men and women. Massachussets last year became the first state to recognize gay marriage, after its Supreme Court showed uncommon courage declaring a ban on gay marriage unlawful. Uncommon Courage
No reading of the equal protection clause supports the notion that homosexuals get some rights and not others. Only prejudice carries that freight.
Every public policy goal that supports marriage for heterosexuals applies to those bending the lines of gender. Stable families, estate planning for couples with life-time commitments, a sense of respect for the intimate choices defining us. Why not accord these to all people?
The reason. Call it the dormant exception to the First Amendment. We can't establish religion except when a religious preference is so nearly universal as to be invisible.
Marriage, we are told, is a sacrament. God wants it, or wanted it, that way. At least that is what the Catholic Church, many of whose priests appear to have libinal issues all their own, says. So do the fundamentalist Christians.
Last I knew every man or woman in the United States was free to worship a fundamentalist God or to pay obeisance to the Pope. The state cannot, and should not, prohibit such worship.
But neither should the state stand in the way of marriage between consenting adults. The bonds of affection are as real and enduring between heterosexual couples as they are between homosexual couples. Any couple should have the right to stand on an altar or court house step and to declare to the world life-long fidelty to the love of their life.
Civil unions are not really progess at all. They are mere playing at affording equal protection to all. Sort of like giving slaves weekends off and calling it emancipation.