Again, I really, sincerely believe that the gay marriage issue is very similar to the abortion issue in some important ways. Most importantly these are issues that force a nation to define its collective faith. I know there's so much talk about a separation between church and state and that we can have no state religion. But how can you have a nation without faith. How we choose to define so many of our laws demand these gigantic leaps into uncertainty. One of the most important questions we had to answer definitively is when exactly does human life begin. And the courts in Roe v. Wade answered it and we have been living with its consequences ever since.
And now what role does a marriage relationship play in our society. In what way does either the federal or state government step in and define a legal marriage union. Why should government even get involved? These are largely questions of faith and its why the gay community has demanded something much more than a legal civil union, where they get many (all?) of the same legal benefits traditional marriage partnerships enjoy. But I think, understandably, they demand more. They want formal recognition of marriage equality, by our government, by society, collectively.
And its getting tougher every single day to make cogent arguments against it. There's an interesting point made in this blogpost.
"I’m still going through the closing arguments from yesterday’s Proposition 8 hearings, but I’m struck by how weak the other side’s case is. It’s truly empty of any reasoned argument or sound evidence. The proponents of the Proposition were relying on conventional wisdom and ‘the way marriages has always been’ arguments without explaining why it should stay that way or what harm would come to society if it changed."
Its hard to really make the case anymore that gay marriage would detrimentally affect society and families because the traditional family unit has already been so thoroughly trashed by our culture. I think addiction, the cavalier attitude toward sex and promiscuity, the lack of commitment all of that is having a much bigger stress on families and marriages. And kids suffer as a result.
In the link, the author quotes the prop 8 proponents:
"The proponents of Prop. 8 dismissed these claims and insisted that marriage is about channeling naturally procreative sexual conduct 'into stable and enduring unions' in order to “minimize what I would call irresponsible procreation.'"
I think this is self evident statement, but there are a slew of statistics to back up the claim that children born into unstable and non-enduring unions suffer. But does gay marriage make this more likely? Maybe, but if so, only at the margins.
In my mind, if there was a way that society and all of its institutions, both public and private, could promote and ensure that straight marriages lasted so that fewer children were aborted or abandoned or raised by someone else.
I have three children and another on the way. When I look into my kids eyes I see, quite literally myself. Granted, they are unique and individual in significant ways, but they also carry a big part of me and of my wife. They have our DNA, pieces of both of our personalities. They look like us, in so many ways they are us. We are bound.
I have a deep embedded connection and responsibility to them. I feel this biologically. Even if all I was was a sperm donor this would be true.
To have a man and a woman come together in love and with commitment and produce life is incredible, its holy, its a miracle. I feel this in a deep, visceral way. If there was a way we could protect and preserve this and hold it sacred, elevating it above almost everything else, I wish we could.
Again, I think its harder and harder to make a strong argument against gay marriage. It's because we collectively have already done a pretty poor job in preserving and protecting and strengthening traditional marriage. And the gay community has nothing at all to do with that.