This was a conclusion reached in two of the opinion columns I read in the local newspaper. Two of the three opinion columns, with the remaining one talking about the presidential election rather than Prop.8 aftermath, so thus without a comparable conclusion on the subject matter.
"Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue." Why, you may ask? Well...because...other people don't have a right to marriage either. There are conditions, and only one of them is that one has to be male and one female. That's the excuse. So, let me dig into that briefly.
It appears that, aside from one male-one female being a requirement (and marriage falling out of favor as a glorified childbearing quota system), the only conditions are that the married partners are "of age", aren't blood related, and do not enter into a polygamous relationship. Being the same race is no longer a requirement, obviously.
Now, I am going to just say that the age requirement, though set arbitrarily, needs to be put at some level at around where it exists currently in order to reasonably insure that there is informed consent. Marriage is a legal contract, after all. So, no. No endorsed pedophilia, no bestiality, don't bring it up because it happens everytime that people who disagree with gay marriage try their slippery slopes. Unfortunately, however, now I have to concede that there probably should be a slippery slope when it comes to the other issues.
The restriction against blood-related people getting married is also unjust. If informed consent also applies to that situation, then they should not be prevented from getting married. Ideally, they should be informed of the inherent risks of having children due to their genetic similarity to one another, and they should also ideally take precautions due to that knowledge, but aside from that, I do think that they should be free to marry as well. Same goes for polygamous couples (groups?). If consent applies, then their only crimes are making things confusing in their households, and hogging up a disproportionately large amount of potential mates. The reason for banning consensual incestual relationships is to forcibly prevent them from bearing children with birth defects, and the reason for banning polygamy is, more or less, jealousy. That, of course, is in addition to the fact that they were only instated as laws due to religious hangups (though incest is more of a universal cultural taboo, due primarily to fearful reactions to aforementioned children with birth defects). And, due to that, I think that those definitional restrictions, in addition to the restrictions against same-sex partners, could also be done away with.
I've just affirmed every homophobic nutjobs worst fears by saying this, though. When they say "what's next? Incest and polygamy" they are not used to hearing "hopefully" as a response. But, when you are hoarding exclusive access to secular partnership rights with such fragile reasons for doing so, it is your own damn fault. Denying right to marriage, which grants a plethora of exclusive privileges for those who enter in it (though they are admittedly mild privileges), is indeed a civil rights issue. The fact that you are excluding a few others on an equally shoddy basis is no excuse. Especially since there is precedent, in allowing interracial marriage, of changing these conditions in the name of fairmindedness and, dare I say, common sense.
Especially in light of the fact that the definition and role of marriage has been changing for centuries now, and is now a secular entity distinct from its religious forebearers, which exists in a supposedly secular society that still demands that we collectively adhere to their arbitrary definitions of morality.
Guess what? It is not immoral to love more than one person and have them reciprocate, even while knowing this fact. It is not immoral to love a close relative and have that person reciprocate (it is immoral to knowing bear children despite the inherent risks of doing so in this relationship, however). And it is not immoral to love someone of the same sex. And if you can't come up with a better reason to keep these people barred from marriage than tradition, your holy text, and some vague argument that permitting it is somehow harmful to society, without proof or even the slightest awareness of your uncritical prejudice on the matter, then I honestly think that you no longer have a leg to stand on.
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