Monday, May 23, 2011

So let's get on with it, then

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...
                                    --The Impressive Clergyman, "The Princess Bride"

Let's be honest -- gay marriage ought to be an exceptionally low priority right now in Minnesota, but apparently we're now going to have the debate, and a constitutional amendment will be on the ballot in 2012.

At the bottom of this increasingly tedious discussion, there's a misconception about what marriage really is. Love, or more properly infatuation, often brings people together, but alone it's not likely to be the basis of a long-standing relationship. But how other people live their lives isn't especially a concern of mine.

Why traditional marriage matters to the state is because the individual arrangement of a man and a woman generally leads to children. Not always, but generally. And providing children with a stable home is a huge concern of every society. The happiness of the married couple? Not really a concern of the state, unless unhappiness leads to domestic violence.

Gay marriages by definition cannot lead to children unless there is an intervention of a third party. No matter what the law might say, that's the reality of nature. And, the "happily ever after" thing is baked into the historical marketing of marriage, but it's really secondary to the hard but necessary work of child rearing.

The gay couples protesting at the Capitol over the weekend think that having the imprimatur of the state will somehow complete them. It won't. But I wouldn't begrudge them the opportunity to make their case. The happiness they seek comes from someplace other than where they are looking, which they will learn regardless of how the vote comes out.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

Politically, I've got a a libertarian leaning on this one.

Religiously, I think it's important to be blunt. Gay marriage is a non-sequitur. We can try to pretend that it is good or that it will cause good, but that's misunderstanding the nature of blessing. It is God who blesses. Gay marriage is, in fact, cursed. That said, homosexuals are no more sinful than anyone else and shouldn't be regarded as such. Or rather, by viewing people as sinful on some kind of sliding scale we misunderstand entirely the nature of sin.

Night Writer said...

My short take is that civil unions should be the standard for everyone, and those who desire holy matrimony can opt for marriage with no state blessing or license required.

As for the wedding, if some church sees its way clear to sanction it I'd think they were wrong, but that is between them and God. I have an idea that that ceremony is no more offensive to God than a straight couple who get married in a church merely for the sake of tradition when they have no intention of including God in the marriage after that.

Brad Carlson said...

My biggest problem with this whole debate is the fact that the pro "gay marriage" crowd is totally incapable of nuanced discussion on this issue. It's the typical vapid talking points of "we shouldn't prevent two people who love each other from getting married, blah, blah...

And NW is spot on, in that many heterosexual couples engage in the covenant of "holy matrimony" with little or no intention of acknowledging Who blesses such an exercise.

Up until about 1753 the church kept all family records and dealt with the issue of marriage. The government took it over to find and tax families and turn marriage into an industry. Bottom line, get the government the hell out of marriage, ESPECIALLY those state judiciary branches who saw fit to legalize "gay marriage" by fiat.

Gino said...

whoever said marriage was all about love and happiness never really knew much about marriage, love, or happiness.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with the posts here. Marriage in the eyes of the state is one thing, but marriage in the eyes of a church is entirely another. I'm ambivalent about homosexual marriage from a state perspective, but any law that would force a religeon to perform any ceremony that is contrary to it's beliefs and teachings would be morally wrong.