Thursday, May 07, 2009

And then there were Five

Maine has become the fifth state to legalize gay marriage and almost immediately opponents have begun attempts to collect enough signatures to force a referendum to repeal the law in November.

In the meantime, the New Hampshire legislature has passed a marriage equality measure and sent it to Governor John Lynch.

Resistance to gay marriage is collapsing at an unbelievable pace in the Northeast. This is far beyond anyone’s expectations and one can only hope that the momentum will continue.

Then there is the latest Washington Post/ABC Poll where, for the first time by a 49%-46% margin, more respondents favored gay marriage than opposed it.

Then there is California.

The decision in California is monumental. Should the California Supreme Court throw out Proposition 8 it would change the battle lines. Such a decision would establish Gays as a beleaguered minority. Just as one cannot restrict the rights of Blacks, Muslims or any other minority, one would not be able to restrict the rights of Gays.

Then we can all fight over whether marriage is a right or a privilege. That should be a relatively short fight, but a downright dirty and vicious one.

Of course if the California Supreme Court allows Proposition 8 to stand that would sort of imply that gays are fundamentally different from Blacks, Muslims or other minorities. They would be a minority that it’s OK to discriminate against because that discrimination is religiously based. Well, why not make it OK to discriminate against non-believers then? After that we can establish discrimination against those who believe in the wrong religion. Then, as the final step, we can legalize discrimination against different sects of the same religion.

Yes, yes, I’m well aware that I’m engaging in the slippery slope fallacy. But think about it in reverse. If you don’t think it’s OK to ban Blacks or Muslims from getting married, why is it OK to ban gays from doing so?

Please don’t give me the procreation and tradition arguments. We all know that there are marriages that were never intended to produce offspring and I could argue that claiming the tradition covers one white Christian man and one white Christian woman would be as accurate as claiming it covers simply one man and one woman. What do I base that on? I base it on all the restrictions, de jure and de facto, that up until recently were built into the marriage process.

Ok, I’ve beat this to death and then some. All eyes are now on New Hampshire.

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