I've never understood the rabid, frothing furor over this issue. Responsible, legal adults want to get married. This is a bad thing?
First of all, let me state that I'm not gay. Never been interested, not in the slightest. But, I've had friends who were gay. Some were great people, some were jerks. Just like "us". If they wanted to get married in a church, that's between them and their church. But, I don't think it's the function of government to sanction religious views into law. If a church doesn't want to recognize same-sex marriage, that's their right. It's worth noting that some churches don't recognize divorce. But, that doesn't stop the government from doing so.
Sounds an awful lot like I'm in favor of civil unions, doesn't it?. That'd be the government way of recognizing couples - it'd give them the legal status, inheritance, etc. rights of today's "marriage" as recognized by the state. And if churches don't like it, well, tough. I'm not a Christian - I don't care if the Catholics or Mormons or whoever consider my marriage or divorce sanctified by God. None of their business.
Will same-sex unions "destroy marriage", as the religious right insist? I doubt it, any more than the high divorce rate already has. I just can't see something that helps two people commit themselves to one another as a bad thing. This reminds me an awful lot of the laws that used to ban interracial marriage, with many of the same arguments being used. But, when you look back at those, they seem quaint and backwards.
So, let's take the reverse proposition - a constitutional amemdment is passed, banning same-sex marriage. There's some interesting consequenses I've never heard mentioned...
- Take two people, both born male. If one of them gets a legal sex-change, can they marry?
- If not (gender legally being established by your DNA), could a man who gets a sex-change marry a woman? You can't have it both ways...
- Another case - there are quite a few people who are intersexed (not fully one sex or the other) - where do they fall in? Can they never marry? Isn't it a legal decision as to what gender they are for this amendment? And who decides that - the individual, a doctor, a judge, Congress?
- What about women with complete androgen intolerance? These are genetic males who develop as females because their bodies can't process testosterone. Aside from the fact they don't have a uterus, you'd never know they were different. Who can they marry?
None of these amendments (even Oregon's misguided ban) address any of these issues - their language is quite simple, something along the lines of "A marriage is defined as a union of a single man and a single woman". Quite a lot of grey areas in there... what is a man and what is a woman? And who decides?