Saturday, May 12, 2012

History's Side

I don't want to jump the gun but I think that a lot more has changed than we think. On Wednesday when the president announced that he supported same-sex marriage the media went predictably crazy.

But something else happened. And that was a bit of a change. Instead of the traditional "gays are bad or at least letting them marry is bad" rhetoric from the typical conservative sources, there was instead a political reaction. How will this affect Obama's campaign for re-election? Will this actually lead to gay marriage?

This is interesting because until this time same-sex marriage has been debated on moral grounds. Gays are bad for society--or at least their marriage is. That is the standard line of attack. Preserve traditional marriage. Save the children.

And since Wednesday? It's been surprisingly quiet. I mean, of course all of the people who believe those things haven't disappeared. But suddenly their voices are on the fringe. Suddenly it seems that the president's position is more mainstream than many would like to admit.

Let's be real for a moment. There is still a lot to be done. But, same-sex marriage poses no threat to any of the following: population growth, traditional families, the very fabric of society, children, or anything else. What we have created is second-class citizenship for no reason other than sexual preference--something confined almost exclusively to the bedroom. This is literally denying rights to someone because they do not conform to some skewed view of what is right. We do not deny rights to those who engage in s&m, swinging, asexual behavior, or nearly any other kink out there. To take it to extremes we don't deny rights because someone prefers one sexual position over another. Appropriately the Massachussetts Supreme Court saw this logic and approved gay marriage because they saw that there was a distinct separation of rights given from those owed.

Gay marriage is simply upholding the laws as written and the American philosophy. We all have rights to privacy (4th amendment) that shall not be infringed, and those rights shall be equally enforced (14th amendment). Besides, in America "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." For any American who believes in our founding principles and the rule of law in this country, there is no reason to continue this denial.

Or perhaps it is in the Bible where the intolerant make their stand. Yet there is plenty in the Bible we as a society no longer enforce, the stoning of adulterers on Sundays being one. Patton Oswalt said it best (and I'm paraphrasing) "I'd love to be tolerant of the gays but this darn Bible just keeps getting in the way." When logic and reason fails, defer to a vague document to justify one's unkind attitudes. The message of Jesus was and will always continue to be love. No convoluted argument can water down this argument. If the homosexual agenda is love, then those opposed are indeed on the wrong side of history.

And the president, by making clear his support of gay marriage, just called everyone out on their intolerant positions. The relative silence on the morality of gay marriage foreshadows a sea change. It is the beginning of the end and how long it takes is just a matter of impetus to action.

Racism isn't dead, but it's dying and on the fringe. So too will go the opinions of homophobes. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but it will happen. So get over it.