April 27, 2012

Random Thought about Gay Marriage Issue

On a forum I frequent there has been an ongoing discussion regarding gay marriage.  It started out talking about the defeat of Proposition 8 repeal in California and who was responsible for that measure not taking effect.

The thing is there were multiple groups for or against Proposition 8 and in the end the against side won out.

Believe it or not, this post isn't so much about Proposition 8 in itself, but about some of the "ordinary people" discussing these issues.  On this forum there isn't anyone rich, famous, or well-connected.  We have the religious types, the non-religious types, a few veterans, and at least one lesbian.  For the most part the group is loosely connected and definitely distributed across the country.

While the discussion started out about the defeat of Proposition 8's repeal, it of course denigrated into a  discussion about gay marriage itself.  There are obviously those for and against, like in any group and as the discussion continues it seemed that those that were against gay marriage weren't really against homosexuality.  I think the majority of people don't see homosexuals as some personal affront.

There is something else going on that I couldn't quite put my finger on, until perhaps this morning.

It occurred to me that a big problem is that people are talking, but they are only talking among themselves.  There is no real dialogue occurring between both sides of this issue.  People are getting on their soapbox and shouting into the wind at each other, but they are simply not talking to each other.

This discussion is occurring in a small nothing sub-forum in a non-existent place that can only be online, but it isn't happening in the real world where this issue affects people.

As our small microcosm of society got into it's 100th post it seemed to me that those "opposed" to gay marriage were opposed to the "marriage" part, not the "gay" part.  Now this is supposition on my part, but some, possibly the majority of those opposed to gay marriage and those in favor of gay marriage were using different versions of the definition of "marriage".

You would think that this word would be simple, but anything that breeches the topics of religion and politics is far from simple.

Las Vegas Welcome Sign
I had to think a moment.  Am I married?  I say yes, but that is based on an assumption on my part.  Carolyn and I did go to Las Vegas ten years ago.  We did get a Marriage License from Clark County, Nevada and did go through a ceremony with a Justice of the Peace.  Maybe that is a civil union?  There was no recognition from an organized church.  We do file as a Married Couple on both Idaho State and Federal taxes.  Is that enough?

The concept of marriage, or at least its definition, is quite muddied across religious, political, and geographical boundaries.  It is also extremely important to a lot of people for a number of socio-economic and geopolitical purposes.

I would posit that there are more people generally in favor of two people....any two people...that have found love and happiness having the option of being recognized as a joined couple, and getting the rights and privileges associated with that recognition.  The problem is that they are not willing to do so at the cost of fundamentally redefining who they are (or could be).

I think that if people could come together and talk, beginning with a frank discussion of the language being used that maybe, just maybe we could work at redefining the issue instead of fighting over vague terminology.  Maybe I'm completely off-base here....just trying to take my observance of this small segment and expanding it to a larger scale.

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