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A conversation about the gay marriage ruling

Right About Now

Posted: June 6, 2008 1:58 a.m.
Updated: August 7, 2008 5:02 a.m.
When I want a different view of the world, I go and visit my friend Libby. Some of you may remember Libby from past articles. Libby drives a BMW, retains a comfortably upper-middle-class lifestyle, and owns a small poodle named Ralphie who wears more bling than some rappers.

Libby lives the good life in Santa Clarita and feels horribly guilty about it. Ralphie doesn't care. He's just happy being a dog.

Me: So, Libby, what do you think of the California Supreme Court's recent ruling for gay marriage?

Libby: Oh, its wonderful! All of my friends in West Hollywood are so happy! They are now free to be with the ones they love! Those great judges in Sacramento really listened to the people and gave us what we wanted.

Me: But, Libby, in 2000, 61 percent of the people of California voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman. It seems like these judges gave us exactly what we didn't want and ignored the will of the people. How is that democratic?

Libby: Well, maybe it's not. But what's the difference? Now my gay friends can get all of the perks of married people like health insurance, tax breaks, pensions, wages, and disability. They can be real people.

Me: Libby, they are already "real people." But the question is more complicated. What if two same-sex individuals decided to get married even though they are not gay? Could mere roommates get marriage tax breaks just for living in the same apartment? With quick-and-easy marriages and divorces, it seems like marriage will lose all meaning.

Libby: What meaning? Marriage is just an institution put together for religious purposes. It holds no value today in our new, modern society. We are free from the old ways and old religious beliefs! Our society does not need marriage!

Me: Think so? Let's put aside the massive moral and spiritual issues with gay marriage for the moment. Let's look strictly at the practical value marriage has to the State. And by "State" I mean the country, not just California.

Marriage has the practical function of bringing together families for the purpose of procreation. The children of these unions become the future workers and soldiers of the nation. Without the fundamental building block of marriage, the state cannot feed, clothe, and shelter its people nor defend itself.

The state has a vested interest in marriage. Gay marriage, from which no children can be produced, has no intrinsic value to the state. Therefore, marriage exists as a civil function today as well as a religious function, because the state has a vested interest in this institution.

Libby: I just can't accept that! The State does not care about how people act or what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms! People should be free to do whatever they want.

Me: There are always limits to freedom, Libby. Can you yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater? Of course not. The harm caused by your fake warning could harm many people needlessly.

Libby: But shouldn't people be free to be who they are? Didn't God make them this way?

Me: First of all, there is no concrete proof that homosexual proclivities are genetic/structural/inherited. The few studies that have been performed are inconclusive and not part of the scientific mainstream.

When the state of California ruled that mixed racial marriages were acceptable back in 1948, that was not creating a parallel to today. A person cannot change his or her race or other physical characteristics. To compare racial origin to a sexual preference is not realistic.

This is giving special rights to individuals based on a preference or behavior. This is definitely not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.

Libby: Aren't you right-wingers going to try and change the state constitution? That's just disgusting. You lost fair and square and now you want to change the rules. Eventually, you are going to want the U.S. Constitution changed!

Me: A recent commentary in The Signal in support of gay marriage said "the difficulty with amending the Constitution of the United States is that such an amendment is in itself unconstitutional." That's funny since the Constitution itself says that the Constitution may be changed (Article V). So the statement that amendments are unconstitutional is simply wrong.

The framers of the Constitution took certain things for granted, such as the Judeo-Christian ethics upon which this nation was founded. They never envisioned that such a thing as gay marriage could occur. If the Constitution needs to be amended to protect marriage, so be it. But, we are a very long way from there. Let's worry about California first.

Libby: You worry about California. I'm going to worry about Ralphie. Come, Ralphie.

Ralphie: (bark, bark)

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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