Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meanwhile, in New York

They're going to have gay marriage:

Celebrating late into the night, thousands of gay marriage supporters poured into the streets after New York became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage.

After days of contentious negotiations and last-minute reversals by two Republican state senators, the bill was passed, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly-identical bill here two years ago.

Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York by late July after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his bill into law just before midnight Friday.
A few thoughts:

  • If we're going to have gay marriage, this is how it should come about. The legislature debated the matter, passed the bill and the governor signed it into law. That's a hell of a lot more legitimate than having gay marriage imposed through judicial fiat. And because New York has chosen this path, I would oppose any court challenges to the new law. Opponents of the new law have the job of electing legislators and a governor who will overturn it.
  • We can argue about the meaning of the word marriage forever, but it's clear that the meaning has been changing, and changing rapidly, over the past few years. Our friend Night Writer has proffered the idea that those who still believe in the notion of traditional marriage choose another word, matrimony, to denote what we mean by traditional marriage. That idea seems wiser by the moment.
  • I don't think there are really that many people who are interested in denying gays the opportunity to form whatever unions they would like to form. That's never really been the point of the argument, at least from this corner. The main reason conservatives have opposed gay marriage is that they value the importance of traditional marriage, especially its central role in providing a stable, nurturing evironment for the upbringing of children. That role has been under attack for a lot longer than the notion of gay marriage as been around. We've been undermining traditional marriage for a long time now.
  • Getting married is easy. Marriage isn't. Romantic love will not sustain a marriage. Having the right to marry won't make most gay people any happier.
One last point. Consider the statement of one of the Republican legislators who put the measure over the top:

Republican State Senator Stephen Saland was one of the last to support the same-sex marriage bill. A self-proclaimed traditionalist, he said he agonized over the decision: "I have defined doing the right thing as treating all persons with equality, and that equality includes the definition of marriage, and I fear that to do otherwise would fly in the face of my upbringing."
 This is nonsense, of course. But that's another post.


Gino said...

gays can now get married. that'll show 'em.

CousinDan 54915 said...

Why should gays be happier than the rest of us (LOL).

Gino said...

its all a liberal IRS trick to pass the marriage penalty to as many as possible.

Brad Carlson said...

You're actually on to something re: the IRS, Gino. Up until about 1753 the church presided over the business aspect of marriages until the government saw a way to horn in.

Bottom line regarding gay marriage is that neither side has ever made a particularly convincing case, for or against. And while I prefer the citizens have a direct say via a referendum, I'm just glad that it wasn't enforced by judicial fiat. That's just flat out wrong.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Legal or not, the whole business is nonsense. They will never get what they seek, not because most people want to deny it to them, but because ultimate approval is not ours to give. They will continue to live under the cloud of condemnation because the Law (not to say our civic law) accuses, condemns and puts to death. Wriggle away from the condemnation all you like, the sentence is the same.

That said, that's not a unique experience for homosexuals. It's a universal one. My point is simply that renaming it doesn't make it go away.