Monday, November 03, 2008

Was I Finished?

No, not quite.

Since we already have the theme going of objecting to reducing gay people to gay sex, and gay marriage to hospital visits, let's run with it. Just as neither of the formers is just about either of the latters, the anti-marriage-equality amendments aren't just about the definition of marriage, or even just about gays getting married. They are about creating a constitutionally sanctioned set of second-class citizens by public vote--when the vast majority of that public does not belong to the group whose full civil rights they're deciding to abrogate. They are about creating that underclass and stripping those rights in the name of one particular religious viewpoint, about requiring all citizens to adhere to the requirements of a religion they may not subscribe to, while conveniently exempting people who do not share the religious belief but, by default, coincide with the requirements the religion levies (one guy, one girl). They are, in short, about putting the civil rights of a minority at the mercy and whims of the majority and embuing civil law with a purely religious sensibility.

Oh, and they're also about eviscerating the 14th Amendment when gays are concerned. If your state--say, Louisiana--has a problem with 16-year-old cousins getting married, it still recognizes the happy couple from Alabama when they move west. But Louisiana and Alabama and Ohio and every other state can tell a gay couple married in Massachusetts to get bent. Special rights, my ass.

For every knucklehead on their side who howls what next? men marrying dogs? women marrying five-year-olds? we need to respond with our own, actually realistic slippery slope concerns. What's the next religious doctrine we can expect to see enshrined in state constitutions? How long before somebody decides to float an amendment or even just simple legislation barring marriage when at least one of the parties is divorced? How long before divorce is out the window? Or, since marriage is apparently a sanctified union with God or Jesus or somebody like that in there too, would it be simpler to start with a ban on atheist marriages, or mixed-faith marriages?

Oh. You mean you don't want quite that much religion in your civil law? Not to the point that it would affect... you?

Well, not you, since if you're reading this you're most likely in the choir and have heard this particular sermon before. But this is why I wish Barack had jumped on the question forcefully and decried the affront represented by amendments designed not only to restrict rights, but to restrict the rights of a specific subset of the population for religious reasons. Constitutions protect rights, not curtail them, and laws with purely religious underpinnings violate the big amendment in the federal Constitution, which trumps state constitutions and any bullshit therein.

It's not just about the gays. It's about fucking with constitutions on a whim. It's about unintended consequences. It's about establishing a precedent that should terrify anyone who isn't a straight particular sort of Christian who thinks a secular constitutional republic is an option rather than a requirement.

Vote. Now I'm finished.


Homer said...

Religion is useless.

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