I got a few very thoughtful emails from Megan about the anti-gay bandwagon and American politics today. First of all, I think it's sad seeing the Pope and American politicians taking positions against gay rights and I strongly believe in gay marriages.
MeganOne interesting point is that some of the discussion here in the US right now is about polling. Lots of people get so caught up in the polling --- yet, 35 years ago when it was still illegal for inter-racial couples to marry, the polls were 70%+ against allowing it. If we stuck with polling only, we would have no civil rights legislation, we'd still have racially segregated bathrooms, women wouldn't be able to vote, etc.
The 14th Amendment is clear --- equal protection under the law. No exceptions. Churches are not required to marry people they don't want to marry -- that's a religious event/ceremony, but a marriage license issued by the state is a contract. We have seen that churches sometimes take a while to get it right --- it took a rather long time to finally pardon Galileo. : ) If some of the churches need to take their time on this one, so be it... but the 14th Amendment requires equal protection under the law.
Most of the basis for anti-gay rhetoric is religious. In terms of Christian arguments, I think it's always interesting to look at what Christ actually said in the New Testament about Homosexuality. The interesting part is that, he really said nothing directly. Although he did say things like love your neighbor as yourself, get along with each other... : ) Some information on these topics:
The quote above is from one of the four inscriptions chiseled into the inside walls of the Jefferson Memorial.Thomas JeffersonLetter to George Washington, January 4, 1786: "This...plan"
I am certainly not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
The world is watching you America. Get it right. You've gotten it right in the past.Victor HugoAn invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
Thanks to Megan for the thoughts and the quotes.