Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Proposition 8 was not About the Government

... it was about the cultural definition of the word "marriage."

Over at Classical Values, one of my favorite blogs, they have completely missed the point on this. They take up the issue using a narrow, libertarian analysis where they decide that the government shouldn't meddle in such things. To them it's all about the tiny details of the laws. It's all about licensing.
Well, licensing is, after all, a government restriction. When people speak of marriage as a "right," they really are not speaking of a right to marriage, but a "right" to a marriage license. Yet true rights (such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion) are not -- and by their nature cannot be -- subject to licensing.

If marriage were treated as a right, it would not be subject to licensing.
Emphasis in the original text.

Licenses are meaningless outside of the larger context, a context apparently invisible to the libertarians. We're not at war over a right, we're at war over a cultural definition of a word. It's not a trivial one, either. One side wants to erase all differentiation between heterosexual and homosexual unions, the other doesn't. The marriage issue is a part of the deal, not the final goal.

The Boy Scouts have been under attack by the gays because they differentiate. The demonstrations against the churches recently were for the same reason. Anyone who makes a distinction between the two relationships will come under attack. The marriage issue is just one battle in the war.

Once they win the marriage issue, public schools will begin teaching that there is no difference between gay and straight relationships. It's no coincidence that one of the biggest opponents of prop 8 were the teachers. An underlying theme of this teaching will be to tie differentiation of sexual orientation to racial discrimination (this is already their primary theme), thus claiming that most major religions are havens for bigotry.

This is much, much bigger than just what the government does or doesn't do. Put the government aside. Is there a meaningful difference between hetero- and homosexual relationships? Is there a meaningful difference between men and women?


Rose said...

My daughter came home from school and announced that a (student) teacher had told the class "Gender isn't what you are, it is how you FEEL."

The kids weren't buying it.


K T Cat said...

Well, that's good news for all the men out there who want to get pregnant!

MuscleDaddy said...

If this issue were actually about homosexuals wanting to be married - wanting to enter into that form of union with each other - this would have been over a long time ago.

While once it was true that they lacked the legal-standing in matters of medical care, division of assets and inheritance, those hurdles have long-since been left behind with the advent of civil-unions, through which a homosexual couple enjoys all of the same legal rights & responsibilities as straight couples.

If either of the people in a homosexual union are of religious leanings, there are plenty of "rainbow-churches" across California, all perfectly willing to marry a homosexual couple "in the eyes of God".

So now you have Civil Unions conveying the "legal" rights and churches conveying the "religious" rights (rites?) consistent with what we poor, ignorant, bigoted 'straights' refer to as "marriage".

Which brings us back to your question, Kat: "Is there a meaningful difference?"

I contend that the only difference is that the "Union-and-Ceremony" version FAILS TO DISRUPT a 5,000-year-old tradition practiced across continents, nationalities and religions the world over... one of the few things that the global majority of humans - thoughout history - have been able to agree on.

At the end of the day, this isn't really about marriage at all - it's about the totalitarian imposition of the views/ideas of a minority population onto the majority population.

- MuscleDaddy

K T Cat said...


Amen, brother.

Justin said...

To quote Kinky Friedman on the issue of gay marriage: "I believe love is bigger than government. And besides, they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us."

DammitWomann said...

Good post KT Cat. Quite informative and made me see things in a little different light. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"If marriage were treated as a right, it would not be subject to licensing."

There's the crux of so many of our problems... if rights can be licensed, they're not rights. Because a government that can issue licenses can revoke them. "Sorry, dirtbag, we've revoked your permit to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Spread 'em!"

I spent my day hauling multiple firearms to the range, putting lots of lead in the berm, then clipping one of the pistols to my belt and going to Costco. Try that in California without the right political connections :-)

Then the cleaning session... mmm, Hoppes :-)

Unknown said...

I'm not sure I've ever understood why two men or women getting married has any impact on anyone other than the two people getting married. Gays can't make you gay, much like white folks can't make you white.