Thursday, April 30, 2015

The evolution of marriage

Once again, in her column "Courting gay marriage," Tammy Bruce demonstrates the wisdom of a modern day King Solomon.  The LGBT community, under the principle of equal protection regardless of sex, race, gender, class or sexual orientation guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, should be entitled to marry.  This is the identical right of any heterosexual couple.  On a practical level, "gay" marriage doesn't diminish the traditional ideal of male-female unions in any way.  In either case, it is two consenting adults choosing to lead their lives together which generally strengthens the societal fabric and should be celebrated notwithstanding the disco balls, margaritas or drag queens.  
As Bob Dylan prophetically sang of social mores in 1964, "The Times They Are A-Changin.'"  Today, for example, it would be unconscionable for public opinion to condemn interracial marriage.  However, it was not so long ago—previous to 1967 to be precise—that it did.  In 1958, in a Washington, DC ceremony (where gay marriage is incidentally currently legal), the aptly named Richard Loving, a white man, married Mildred Jeter, a black woman, in violation of Virginia state statutes against miscegenation to which they plead guilty.  In lieu of serving a one year prison sentence, the Lovings could not return to Virginia together for 25 years.  Fortunately a decade later the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held this prohibition to be unconstitutional.  This decision is appropriately commemorated on the 12th day every year in June—named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage—not surprisingly the most popular month for weddings.
Naturally, differences of opinion are healthy in a democratically free society and all should be respected.  However, using the mechanisms of progressive government to mandate some artificial, one-size-fits-all, top-down solution won't work in this situation.  That’s splitting the baby in half: neither the traditional Christian nor the GLBT community wins.  Therefore, when two sets of competing values with equal validity exist each state should determine its position based upon regional cultural standards.  At the moment, 37 states and the District of Colombia are doing just that.  If the other states don't permit the performance of homosexual marriage ceremonies so be it.  These others should just respect the legal contract that gay marriages confer from their state of origin.  No fuss, no muss, the problem organically solves itself.  No doubt King Solomon, and Ms. Bruce, would approve.

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