Monday, September 15, 2008

Proposition 8 - Is this what we really want?

The California Superior court judges were right. Calling same-sex partnerships something different from hetero partnerships is discriminatory. I think the term Marriage though, does have an established meaning, to too many people, to be changed to include same-sex relationships.
Having said that, perhaps it’s time the government just got out of the marriage business altogether. Let’s remove the term marriage from our constitution and legislation, and replace it with ‘Civil Domestic Partnership’ for everybody. Let marriage be a private institution between people and their faith. All people have the right to be treated equally by the government, regardless of sexual orientation. But no one has the right, either, to legislate change to what has been an accepted understanding of the definition of marriage. This is not an issue of segregation or discrimination. This is about historical meaning and progressive change.

Example: I want to start a new game league. The game will be played on a grid-iron field. Players, six per team, will use long sticks to hit a round ball into a 10’ high goal basket in the center of the field. We will call this game ‘Baseball’.
The game does not meet what we accept as the current definition of baseball, and there is nothing wrong with my creating this sport. I am not entitled, however, to call my game ‘Baseball’ just because I want to be treated the same as other players. We both play a sport, we deserve be respected as athletes equally, but It’s not right of me to hijack the definition of Baseball. Both are sports, and both are played by athletes. Both same-sex, and heterosexual committal relationships are partnerships, entered into by people.

This is not about hate or discrimination. This is not about validation, acceptance, or even tolerance. This is about getting government out of our lives. Separation of church and state applies here more than anywhere. The government should not care, nor be knowledgeable of our internal relationship structure. The fact that two people have conjoined is all that is pertinent. Let all couples have equal rights, protections, and liabilities too, under the eyes of the law.
Let marriage mean whatever it means to those who chose to marry, in the eyes of their faith, or family, or peers, but not their government.

Am I alone on this?

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