Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Commitment To Democracy

This morning on Wisconsin Public Radio they were hosting an informal straw poll on how their listeners planned to vote on the proposed "Gay Marriage Amendment" that is likely to be on the November ballot and why they would vote that way. The Amendment needs only to pass the Republican-controlled Assembly today, a likely event, in order to be on the ballot. As I drove, I prepared, in my head, my answer to the straw poll but, since my thrice-damned cell phone died on me, I was unable to get through and vote. So I will cast my vote here:

I will vote emphatically "No" on the Gay Marriage Amendment. I feel that this legislation is an embarrassment to the progressive history of Wisconsin. All the defenses I've heard from those in favor of this bill distill down to two reasons: the Bible says homosexuality is wrong and gay marriage will ruin straight marriage. Either one is a load of garbage. First, only a very non-contextual and likely mistranslated reading of the Bible begins to forbid homosexuality. Even if it did, the last time I checked this was the United States of America, not the United States of Ancient Israel. Furthermore, there are many, many cultural restrictions in the Bible that Americans ignore everyday. Claiming to be morally absolute and then engaging in blatant cultural and moral relativism is at least a little hypocritical.

Second, anyone who believes their marriage is threatened by the gay guys down the street getting married needs to seriously reflect on the strength of their union. Perhaps if such people spent more time focusing on their own marriage, rather than playing busybody in everybody else's, then they wouldn't have need to worry about what goes on in the household across town or next door.

I fully believe that one day my young children will learn about these gay marriage bans the same way I learned about the Jim Crow laws in high school. They will be an embarrassing black eye on our culture that we'll reflect back upon with regret. Contrary to certain people's beliefs, human civilization was not built upon the family structure, nor was marriage created to provide two parents to kids. Marriage was created for the sole purposes of allowing men to own women like chattel and pass on property rights to their sons. That's all. The romantic notion of the nuclear family is a purely American invention and has no historical reference beyond 1950's television.

Wisconsin is best served by not becoming the 20th state to enshrine this assault on civil rights into its Constitution. I will be voting emphatically "No!" in November.

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