new york state gets it right for a change.

New York joins NH and all its neighbors in recognizing marriage equality. Good for them, I say, and congratulations.

I won’t pontificate at length on this particular subject, since most people who read this blog on a regular basis already know my opinion on gay marriage rights, and those who don’t already have their own opinions from which they’re not likely to deviate just because of some blog rant. I will, however, make a list of things of which I am absolutely sure when it comes to gay marriage.

I am absolutely sure that:

  • The gay marriage culture war is over, and the equal rights supporters have won. The dominoes have started falling. The people who oppose gay marriage rights are fighting a rear-guard action that is already pointless. In another 50 years, it will be as uncontroversial for two gay people to get married anywhere in the United States as it is today for two people of different races.
  • In 50 years, when gay marriage is a social non-issue, people will regard gay marriage opponents in the same light as we today regard people who support miscegenation laws.
  • In 50 years, the children and grandchildren of the people who oppose gay marriage today will claim that their parents and grandparents never really opposed gay marriage.
  • If you oppose gay marriage today, you may have arguments that are perfectly consistent to you, with a firm basis in religious conviction, but you are on the wrong side of Constitutional principles, morality, and history.
  • Any religious arguments against gay marriage are not only hypocritical and self-serving (by using the Old Testament selectively to support prejudice), but also entirely pointless in this context (because our Constitution does not say anything about Biblical law having any weight in passing laws or running the country.) It doesn’t matter whether you think homosexuality is a sin, because nowhere in the Constitution does it say that any religion’s definition of sin has to have any sway in how we run our country.
  • The folks who now struggle to fight the principle of equal treatment before the law brought this mess upon themselves because they’re the ones who brought government into the marriage business to begin with (ironically, to keep other undesirable marriages from happening.)
  • You can’t be Constitutionally literate and support a system under which a legal non-qualification related benefit or status is not available to any citizen who demands it. If you do, you don’t know the Constitution as well as you think you do, and any argument you make can be used against you when it comes to the liberties you do support.
  • My marriage isn’t threatened in the least by all the gay folks who have gotten married legally in my home state in the last year or so. If you think gay marriage threatens your hetero marriage, your marriage has bigger issues.
  • This country can’t possibly be harmed–legally, morally, or in any other way–by two people loving each other enough to desire a legal status committing them to each other. If the government takes it upon itself to issue licenses to get married and gain the legal benefits of that status, it had better issue those licenses to any consenting adult couple that wants one.
  • Gay marriage opponents don’t want to leave the issue with the churches and out of the hands of government because of the dreadful possibility that some churches wouldn’t refuse to marry a gay couple. Consider that the gay marriage opponents want to give churches the right to not marry gays, but will oppose by federal or state mandate the right of churches to decide to marry gays.

I’m for universal marriage rights for the same reason I’m in favor of universal concealed carry rights–because the government ought not be in the business of issuing licenses to exercise human rights, and because the government can’t be trusted to issue such licenses impartially and without bias. Free people shouldn’t need to ask permission to speak their minds, exercise their religion of choice (or not), own or carry a gun for self-defense, or get married to the consenting adult partner of their choice. Simply put, the straight people never had the right to use the government’s guns to claim a special legal status for themselves, just like white people had no right to legally deny the right to self-defense to people of a darker hue.

I applaud the NY legislature’s decision, and I consider it a good step toward that day when a gay couple can walk to the voting booth or into the church of their choice in the middle of Manhattan to get married while packing openly carried pistols, with nobody on the street giving them so much as a second glance.

33 thoughts on “new york state gets it right for a change.

  1. perlhaqr says:

    Yep. It’s not my ideal (government totally out of the marriage business entirely) but it’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Lanius says:

    I doubt Rusty P.Bucket will show himself…
    Essay’s nice, but you’re just preaching to the choir, I’d say. Or beating an equine that’s almost pining for the fjords.

  3. T. Munk says:

    To hope for a tableau where a gay couple gets married while openly carrying sidearms would require politicos to be *consistent* in their views about inalienable civil rights. That seems like quite a stretch to hope for. (:

  4. emdfl says:

    Yeah, walking into the church of their choice EVEN IF THAT SAME CHURCH DOESN’T AGREE WITH THEIR “LIFESTYLE” and forcing that church to perform the ceremony under threat of being sued for discrimination.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I never said that churches should be forced to marry people they don’t want to marry. I said that churches who *would* marry gays shouldn’t be kept from doing so by law.

      • og says:

        Marko Kloos

        June 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

        I never said that churches should be forced to marry people they don’t want to marry.

        No, you did not. But that will be the inevitable outcome. When this becomes universal, the churches will be forced to marry gay people or lose their tax status and charity status and effectively be put out of business. On the other hand, Illinois just passed a civil union law, which I am in complete agreement with. if legal status is all they want, the community would be plenty happpy with that.

        This is not a way for people in love to show their committment to one another. This is a way to damage all organized religions that cannot accept the gay lifestyle.

        But hell, don’t listen to me. I’m just an ignernt redneck from flyoverJesusland.

        Wait and watch what I say come true. It will, it has, it is already.

        • divemedic says:

          As soon as you can point me to the church that has been sued for discriminating on the basis of religion, this argument will hold water. A Catholic Church only marries Catholics, therefore discriminates against Jews and Baptists, and Muslims. A Synagogue discriminates against Christians, thereby discriminating against them.

          Have there been any lawsuits? No? Then this is just another “blood in the streets, we are all gonna die” false flag operation to cover for the intolerance and bigotry of others.

        • farmist says:

          OG +1

        • Og that’s why they included a religious exception in the NY law insuring that this would not be a way to force Religon in line. The state recognizes gay marriage. Religions don’t have to.

          Josh

      • reneedavies says:

        “If you oppose gay marriage today, you may have arguments that are perfectly consistent to you, with a firm basis in religious conviction, but you are on the wrong side of Constitutional principles, morality, and history.”

        Wrong side of Constitutional principles, maybe. Wrong side of morality? Neah. Morality assumes good and bad, and one person’s idea of good and bad may not be another person’s view of good and bad, hence the usefulness of the separation of Church and State – something Atheists and Secularists insist on, but show surprising incongruency with their belief system when issues like gay marriage are at hand.

  5. Greg Levy says:

    I’m very happy for these folks…life is too short to not be able to marry who you want to. I am looking forward to the 50-year point you are talking about so we can have a sizable data pool to compare divorce rates between ‘normal’ and ‘alternative’ lifestyles.

  6. Anthony L. says:

    Bravo. Well said, Marko. In this country, what two consenting adults do together is none of my business, no mater what my religious beliefs happen to be. I think it was Jefferson who said, and I am paraphrasing here; “If it doesn’t break my leg or pick my pocket…” I can’t remember the rest, but you get the idea. Great post.

  7. Tam says:

    Og’s complaint is a splendid reason for the state to get out of the “marriage” business entirely.

    If two people want to file for a “civil union” that will be recognized legally, they should present themselves before an official of the state and file for such, and then get all the legal benefits thereof.

    If said people want to be “married”, they should go and find a priest, pastor, shaman, ship’s captain at sea, or gas station attendant that will do so, but having done so should not warrant special recognition by the state.

    I don’t care if the walking corpse of Pope John Paul II pronounced you man and wife, that shouldn’t warrant any special notice from the state.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      But…but…without the state passing and enforcing federal and state laws to protect traditional marriage, there’ll be no way to stop those churches who actually *would* marry gays…

      • Ian Argent says:

        And when marriage (or equivalent) stops granting a huge ahead of legal and property rights, government can get out of the marriage business. I suppose you could call everything a “civil union”, but right now, atheists get married in a civil ceremony…

    • planetcaveman says:

      Amen, Tam. The government has no more business regulating marriage than it does baptism.

    • Lanius says:

      Civil unions… why is it that that topic makes me wonder about certain two heartless libertarian blondes..

      +1 on the reply. That’s how it should be.

      • Tam says:

        Myself, I rarely waste a moment worrying about other people’s boudoir activities. It’s common.

        • Lanius says:

          It’s like automatic weapons, or sentry guns or claymores.. a concept just too sweet .. a mind of an undersexed engineering student just seizes on the possibilities involved and escapes into daydream-land..

          I guess I should get laid more often, but alas, engineering schools are kind of a dating Sahara.

        • Tam says:

          Perhaps the word “common” in the vernacular usage did not translate. I did not mean it as a synonym for “frequent”, but rather in the Southron idiom…

        • Lanius says:

          Well, I only have a few minor nobles among my ancestors. Mostly they were little better than Jews.. tradesmen or merchants. Us commoners have no manners to speak of. You should hear my mom while driving.. one cluster m-bomb after another..

    • John Frazer says:

      Agreed.
      “marriage” might as well be the church institution (by their own book, between a man and his property, or his 300 wives and 700 concubines, etc) It should also be lifelong, with no divorce.

      The state’s licence for “domestic cohabitation or partnership” should say nothing about who’s sexing whom. Two hetero men want a partnership contract? Two hetero couples and a few extra people want to live and share their lives and fortunes together? A hetero man and woman who aren’t in a relationship with each other? (It can happen. i was in a business/cohabitation situation like that once.) Everything in particulars, like sexual exclusivity or having the other person’s girlfriend over up to 15 nights a month without requiring a sub-lease agreement from her, is up to the people entering into the contract.

      John F
      Boulder, Co

  8. Silverevilchao says:

    I have always found it amusing that the churches and religious folk decry gay marriage and cite the Bible…and yet they’re fine with having a Red Lobster around the corner.

  9. emdfl says:

    I suggest you google up Catholic orphanages if don’t think churches will be sued over this.
    Frankly if two homosexuals feel the need to “marry” each other so they can be equal to hetrosexuals in that department, I don’t care. The problem I have is that they continue to clam status as an oppressed minority regardless of what new rights are found for them every year. That just gets old after a while.

  10. Heath J says:

    Well said :golf clap:

    I think Tam’s comment compliments your post well, but I’ll also point out that in all reality, Og is probably spot on.

    Get the .gov out of the marriage/religion business entirely.

  11. Larry says:

    +1
    And besides, why shouldn’t gay couples be able to experience the joys of divorce court?

  12. Gnarly Sheen says:

    I highly recommend everyone read Cracked’s recent article about why gay people shouldn’t be so eager to get married.

    Bear in mind it’s more a criticism of marriage than anything else, but highly funny.

  13. Scruffy Scirocco says:

    Societal conventions are an evolutionary thing: functioning, sustainable societies prosper and pass their culture on to future generations. Failed social conventions find themselves on the ashheap of history. Homosexual unions have been tried before, and those societies are gone. Heterosexual, monogamous unions have been constant throughout history. Take a lesson. Don’t re-engineer society to fit a politically correct utopia. Let society arrange itself.

    • Silverevilchao says:

      Going by your logic, we should purge Christianity from America, then. After all, the vast majority of those Christian civilizations that have existed in the past no longer exist. It therefore only follows that the religion led to their demise. Even the overwhelmingly, overtly-Christian version of America has been relegated to the ashheap of history, replaced by a more secular union – take a look, for instance, at the cries of the far-right to restore America to a “Christian nation”. That alone implies the fall of yet another “Christian” culture.

      Take a lesson. Don’t re-engineer society to fit a vision decided solely by a religious population and is thus unconstitutional. Let society arrange itself, like it did in this case. After all, this bill likely wouldn’t have been passed had it not been for the large amount of organizing by ordinary people over the years.

    • Tam says:

      Let society arrange itself.

      It is doing so. You are on the wrong side of it.

  14. George Smith says:

    With regard to the link between a government and its citizens (subjects), I recall a statement from a former Prime Minister of the Great White North – Pierre Trudeau. He was quoted as saying that the state had no business in the bedrooms of the nation.

    Our governments have no business legislating morality, marriages or the rest of their intrusions into our lives. Both of our countries have more than enough laws and regulations. Most legislators neither understand proposed laws nor do many of them even read the bills tabled for their examination.

    Having said that, there are often benefits that cannot be conferred without the sanction of a “marriage”.

    Regards.

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