Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Encapsulating the Issue

We're all pretty tired of Prop 8 discussion. Reading last night, I unintentionally came across a brief treatment of the issue in a multi-topic opinion piece by Camille Paglia. You can read the entire thing here. She neatly encapsulated my thoughts on the subject.

"Another hot-button issue: After California voters adopted Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage, gay activists have launched a program of open confrontation with and intimidation of religious believers, mainly Mormons. I thought we'd gotten over the adolescent tantrum phase of gay activism, typified by ACT UP's 1989 invasion of St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the communion host was thrown on the floor. Want to cause a nice long backlash to gay rights? That's the way to do it.

"I may be an atheist, but I respect religion and certainly find it far more philosophically expansive and culturally sustaining than the me-me-me sense of foot-stamping entitlement projected by too many gay activists in the unlamented past. My position has always been (as in "No Law in the Arena" in my 1994 book, "Vamps & Tramps") that government should get out of the marriage business. Marriage is a religious concept that should be defined and administered only by churches. The government, a secular entity, must institute and guarantee civil unions, open to both straight and gay couples and conferring full legal rights and benefits. Liberal heterosexuals who profess support for gay rights should be urged to publicly shun marriage and join gays in the civil union movement."

There's more to her thoughts, and it's worth reading, but this brief passage is the core of it.


Big Jay said...

That basically sums it up for me.

There has to be a way to ensure people receive equal protection under the law without obliterating the concept of marriage completely.

jim said...

We have a list of rights that includes stuff about speech, religion, etc. Not a one of them requires a license. Marriage needs a license because the state has an interest is who is going to take care of the children.

Andrew said...

I think it's a very neat solution, and I imagine we'll see it happen at a federal level under an Obama administration.

Jim, no argument with the concept of marriage deserving recognition due to its importance to society. I do agree with this opinion piece:,0,2093869.story