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the gay marriage debate

Help me out here. My state has a gay marriage referendum on the ballot this year and, quite honestly, I don't know which way I'm going to vote on it. I've been struggling with this issue so much that I've even considered abstaining on the question. But maybe if I bounce my thoughts off the great and powerfully opinionated internets, it'll help me find some clarity. So here goes...

Let me start with my opinion on homosexuality itself: Whatevs.

Gay people are like left-handed people — that small percentage of the population that happens to write with a different hand than the rest. Though it's still a mystery why most of us are born one way and some are born another, it just boils down to differences in our biological makeup. To that end, there's no reason why gays shouldn't be allowed to do what straight people do. We don't restrict what left-handed people do or what red-heads do or gren-eyed people do or what short people do, right? And we now look back with bewilderment at restrictions we once placed on women and blacks in society. What kind of primitives were we? Thank the old gods and the new that we're a more intelligent and sophisticated society now.

All that makes it clear to me that gays should not be denied access to the union of marriage.

Except for the fact that I'm married.

And I'm straight.

I'm married and I'm straight and my parents were married and straight and their parents were married and straight and back and back and back. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman—opposite sexes uniting to form family. If the existing definition can be considered arbitrary enough that we can just change it, then why would we change it to something else that's just as arbitrary? If marriage isn't what it's always been, then we have to decide on what it now is. We can't just staple an addendum on the side of it and call it done. That would merely begin of a new chapter in the battle over semantic equality. In other words: If we're going to ask why marriage should only apply to opposite sexes, then we must also ask why it should apply only to two people. And that is where I'm stuck.

In my perfect world, anyone could marry anyone (straight, gay, poly) and none of those marriages would be recognized by government nor would they have to be recognized by anyone else. "Marriage" would be a private social contract or ceremonial event with no legal restrictions (excepting age of consent, of course). Then for legal purposes (inheritance, insurance, medical decisions, etc), people would have to form a civil union. Basically, I'd split what we currently know as marriage into two things: a private union and a legal union. That would preserve the traditional man/woman definition of marriage while also being an all-inclusive institution. In short, it would solve the problem of semantics, which I believe is at the heart of the issue.

But the private/legal split is not an option on the table, so I continue to sit on the gay marriage fence. After writing all this out, I'm leaning towards voting no because I think it's the more correct choice until we're prepared to make a major cultural shift and completely redefine marriage in our society. What say you?

I'm happy to hear from gay and straight on this issue and if you don't want to speak up in name, anonymous commenting is fine. What I've written here is genuine and I'm looking for honesty in return. Tell me your feelings, tell me your thoughts, but please leave political talking points at the door.




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roxy burglar
roxybisquaint
Roxy Bisquaint

Roxy Bisquaint...

Is self-indulgent. Over thinks everything. Tweets too much. Looks really good in these jeans. Wants to eat butterscotch. Makes herself laugh. Obsesses about aging. Does some crunches. Lives with two ghosts. Procrastinates daily. Measures once, cuts twice. Hates Foo Fighters. Drinks lots of coffee (keep it coming). Puts spiders outside. Brings balance to the force. Draws a perfect curve. Enjoys dark chocolate. Bangs on the drums. Always gets in the slow line. Orders from a menu. Hopes to be reincarnated. Speaks fluent Sarah Connor. Cooks tasty crack theory. Loves a good storm. Dances like a dork. Picks some locks. Tips well. Refuses to share the popcorn. Dreams about the future. Ignores the clock. Sings off key. Has a superpower. Shoots the paper bad guys. Needs some eyeliner. Goes to bed at dawn. Can't resist good smut. Quotes movie lines. Eats whipped yogurt. Lets the story tell itself. Maintains a rich fantasy life. Knows all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe.

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