THE RESULTS DESIRED: DEFINED, AND THE TRADE-OFFS
"Although it has become a moral battleground, it would best be addressed on a respectful basis. There are two sides and neither has the right to infringe on the other, as a general principle. There is the "protect the marriage word as a thing between a man and a woman" position as opposed to the "marriage is a right for same-sex relationships". Other than the actual rights other than the name "marriage", same-sex equivalents are eminently feasible and likely to be accepted into law in almost all states. In that form, it is a "civil union". If the movement altered its target to having same-sex civil unions that are, other than the title, equivalent to heterosexual marriage rights, then the achievement of that target will be achieved. If the insistence, for the reasons mentioned below, is to have the word "marriage" used in lieu of "civil union", then there is a battle that has some likelihood of not being won so soon - and, as such, it would postpone obtaining the full rights and privileges, and the benefits, of same-sex unions.
If the rights and privileges are desired to be obtained sooner, dropping the requirement (for now) to use the word "marriage", then success would be achieved very quickly. If the name "marriage" must be obtained, then the choice is being made to delay the benefits, which may be a bit like losing what is most important for what is in name only. It is a choice. And the battle is between each of the opposing factions trying to hold onto or get the right to have the desired, most honorable name of "marriage."
Which do you want:
1. Earlier results that are __% of what is desired in terms of rights and privileges
2. Results years later, but that add the name desired.
I would propose the possibility that #1 could be achieved now and that #2 could be a separate obtainable item over time, so there is no loss in having #1 go into effect first. Of course, that strategy and the result could be argued.
Who actually has the higher moral ground? Perhaps only God has the right to judge, though each human has the right to his opinion and assessment - but at no time is it useful to evilize the other side for believing in what they believe in (!!!!!). Instead, it is best to persuade and inform (and to do alot of "marketing" and "advertising" of ideas that correct misinformation, humanize people who are thought to be 'different' and/or reduce fears). Certainly, there are alot of people who are uninformed about this also.
It may be best to "get what you can get" (and then go for more later). The overwhelming majority of the public are for "civil unions" that are essentially, in rights and privileges, equal to marriage but which do not threaten the beliefs of a portion of the public about the "M" word. Wisdom may be the better part of valor here...and doing battle where you will have a decent chance of winning may be the wise thing to do...
Note that overcoming the erroneous idea that the gay marriage unit is less stable and that children raised in gay marriages are negatively affected might be the key to winning the battle....it is proven that children raised in gay unions are at least as well-off as in heterosexual relationships!
PUBLIC OPINION AS A HUGE FACTOR
Latest polls: (Source, collection of polls)
Gay marriage: 52% favor, 43% opposed, 5% unsure
If civil unions are presented as an alternative: 40% favor legal marriage, 23% favor civil unions (just without the marriage word), 31% oppose, 6% unsure
Just on whether civil unions should be allowed: 66%, should; 31%, should not, 3%,
Enter into legal agreements to give same rights as married couples: 57%, favor; 37%, oppose; 6%, unsure (and the trend is significantly toward more being in favor
Allow same governmental benefits as married couples: Yes, 58%; different, 38%; unsure, 3%
Allowing gay couples to adopt children: 54% favor, 40% oppose, 5% unsure
The opposition is too weak and it has steadily declined over time.
A POSSIBLE WINNING STRATEGY
As a person who strongly favors full "gay rights", I would propose that the correct, winning strategy could be to propose (as a foot in the door, so to speak, to keep the door open for later) that civil unions laws with equal privileges (rights) be sought immediately, in order to get those into effect as soon as possible - people will buy that and the rights will immediately be obtained. I understand that this is not "the same" as using the word "marriage", at least to alot of people, but it is a winning strategy that will gain far more than doing battle for many years and not getting the majority of what is wanted.
To "not win" by insisting on something that is non-winnable is not a great strategy. If something is not gettable, then it seems smart not to try to get it - though some people insist that this is giving up - and I say that it is a matter of assessment not one of lack of courage.
Also, it makes sense to assure that if it is a matter of civil unions that one would go for equal rights, protections, and benefits to heterosexual marriages. (There has been cases of differences, but most of the public does not care about it one way or the other, so go for the higher benefits!)
In Denmark, gay marriage was permitted even when clergy opposed it - then the clergy began to accept it. In a like manner if there are civil unions, then people might get "used to it" and then gay marriage could be more acceptable, and be the next step.
Going for the "whole enchilada" and insisting only on marriage as the term might be a way of just not winning at all.
What do you think?
EQUAL RIGHTS, IN ALL WAYS
Of course, no one shall be discriminated against or treated differently because of their race, creed, religion, nationality, and/or sexual preference.
I believe that much of "sexual preference" is determined at birth and, logically, it would seem that it could not be changed regardless of societal norms.
Even if it were not a physical phenomenon only, there would be no basis to get in the way of a person's choice. It is only that person's right to choose "in" or choose "out."
The choice should not be treated with hostility from another for that different belief or choice. That is one of the fundamental values that should be involved in the US.
There is no proven harm to society resulting from a person having a gay or lesbian way of living. If a person feels harmed by it, then it is that person's lack of education and awareness that causes that - and therefore, the cure of that prejudice or believed harm is up to that individual and not society, nor is it to be blamed on the people who believe differently.
Surely, if Solomon were here, he would have to make a tough decision.
It does not make sense to “discriminate” against any particular class, race, religion, or sexual orientation. It also does not make sense to impose upon those for whom marriage is a religious or sacredly-held belief. Of course, the latter cannot impose discriminatory practices.
The current law of the United States has marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Yet those who wish to become committed partners who are of the same sex should be permitted to do so, but perhaps not using the sacred term of marriage, which also traditionally has been for creating children and families. That is what Solomon would likely decide - so that all sides "win".
Such an arrangement should have the same restrictions and requirements as a marriage – and also the same benefits, rights, and/or privileges. This could be manipulated, but we can not control everything, though we can adjust as we go. Such unions should be permitted, with full partner benefits that are equivalent to spousal benefits for a company and for the government, with no differences and no discrimination. Tax breaks would also apply. Those who hold marriage as sacred and between a man and a woman should have no objection to this.
WHY IS THE "M" WORD SO IMPORTANT
The gay marriage debate is a gay rights issue because preventing gay people from marrying sets them aside from mainstream society. Refusing to allow gay couples the right to marry is an acknowledgement that gay couples are not in the same sort of relationships as heterosexual couples, and gives a message that gays and lesbians are not capable of forming a regular family unit.
Another statement: "The key thing is that separate but equal is never fully equal. Full gay marriage means that gay and lesbian citizens are equal citizens, not second-class, and are properly respected by society."
So, given beliefs on both sides, there would appear to be a "stalemate". If one side can "compromise" then the rest of the battle can be won. That's just a fact, not something I advocate as being the one way to address this. But you might consider the basic argument.
For a poll:
"The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that homosexual couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual ones and that state legislators must rewrite New Jersey laws to make this happen. If you had to choose in your state, which would you prefer: allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions or allowing same-sex couples to get married?"
Unions Marriage (vol.) Unsure
% % % %
11/13-19/06 44 24 27 5
Even with lesbian and gay marriages being performed and recognized in some states, the Federal Defense of Marriage Law prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay and lesbian relationships.
WHY ARE PEOPLE OPPOSED TO GIVING UP THE "M" WORD EXCLUSIVITY?
People differ on the reasons not to "condone" marriage upon same-sex couples. Some have "moral" reasons, which are both personal and a matter simply of beliefs.
Although not proving what is right or wrong,
The concept of marriage has a long tradition of being the union between a man and a woman. People have trouble changing traditions.
with a large number of religions in the world frowning on same sex unions and people tend to follow their spiritual leaders.
They believe it is a sacred "rule": "Jesus reiterates these teachings from Genesis, saying, "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.'" (Mk 10:6-8)."
There is an old saying: Never try to reason with an unreasonable person. Not that this is the equivalent, but I would suggest that beliefs often go beyond reason and they become a part of a person and what they value. Arguing against that is a fruitless battle.
And you might note that many "people of belief" will provide what appears to be rational arguments, but they might really only be using that as subterfuge. If one challenges such thinking (it's not really 'thinking,' per se), no argument, no matter how rational and right, will win.
An article that provides a good argument for gay marriage against the standard list of "beliefs" that people have about gay marriage is provided at ReligiousTolerance.org - it has the best arguments I've seen and the most comprehensive list of beliefs that get in the way for people. And it makes sense that not all people are stuck on their beliefs and it would make sense to put out a good written piece to "inform" others - and that might be sufficient to convert enough people to swing the argument in favor of passing gay marriage laws.
And... some people won't budge, while many won't even bother to read the arguments...so we who advocate "equal rights" might have to settle for "marriage by a different name."
Here is what ProtectMarriage.com says: "Traditional marriage is the foundation of society and has served our state well for centuries. California’s constitutional marriage amendment exists to strengthen society, encourage monogamous and loving marriages and to provide the optimal environment to ensure the well being of children. Thirty-one other states, including California have voted on this issue and every single one decided against legalizing same-sex marriage and instead upheld traditional marriage. California has voted on the issue twice and the people’s voice has been resounding: marriage is between one man and one woman."
"The benefits to society of traditional marriage are overwhelming" it is advocated. Yet each of the items advocating marriage can be altered to fit gay marriage, when we read such reports as the Witherspoon Institute piece "Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles". Surely the studies show that gay marriage works as well, or better, than heterosexual marriage with regard to the benefit of children, though most people still don't seem to be aware of that fact.
the foundational social institution
Certainly, it does little good, and mostly does harm, if an advocate of either side persists in making attacks on those who believe the opposite, using even the primitive tactic of making the other side evil. The other side isn't evil (mostly) but only informed in a different way - and only in friendly dialogue can the illinformed part of that person's beliefs be corrected.
We must recognize the basis for the beliefs of others and for their values, for both understanding and for the proper approach to addressing the issue to win more people over to this side of the issue. A Marriage Facts paper at Harvard that fairly (and well) addresses the issues on both sides recognizes this powerful obstacle to people being persuaded: "the marriage
institution [as it is] guides individual activity, sustains identity, gives sense and purpose to the lives of its participants, and thereby produces valuable social goods." In other words, values produce value for people - and in order to overcome values that are obstacles, addressing and honoring their values is necessary, or they'll go into a kind of fear mode and retreat mentally and emotionally - and that is not a good state for advocates to try to "educate" those of the opposite persuasion.
ADOPTION BY GAY COUPLES
Scientific research has been consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.
This would mean that there is no legitimate reason to block adoption in terms of the effects, though some may still object based upon their "sacred" beliefs. Most of this appears to not be out of meanness and only from such beliefs, which all people are entitled to.