Monday, March 09, 2009

It's About The Word

I commented on an article over at RCP over the weekend, and I'm reproducing that comment as a post here.
And for what end? Not so that gays can have the full package of rights and duties that go with the institution of matrimony. They already have those -- insofar as the state of California can provide them -- thanks to a domestic partnership law that duplicates everything about marriage except the name. This is not a fight over fundamental equality. It's a fight over nomenclature.
This hits the nail on the head.

At the crux of this is the fact that marriage isn't a right bestowed upon us by the government. Marriage is a social institution that has been recognized by the government (mainly have a legal basis to enforce the terms of that social contract should grievances arise over breaches of it), and when it was recognized it was recognized by name.

Now we have those in society that would like to extend the definition of that that social institution by fiat of the goverment. But it is not theirs or the government's to extend.

States like California had it right when they went for a parallel institution (or perhaps even by defining an institution that encompasses marriage as well as other domestic partnerships).

The other route -- having the state re-define society's definition of marriage, and do so by deciding over the will of the people, not by the will of the people -- is what is wrong with this whole thing.

Gay "marriage" isn't illegal. Any gay couple can have a ceremony where they commit to each other and they can call it whatever they want, including "marriage". Nobody will come arrest them.

It's when they want to use the coercive power of the government to force those who don't accept it as "marriage" to at least do it with lip-service where it wanders into First Amendment territory, and I'm talking about the religion part of it.

The so-called "separation of church and state" was put there so that the government couldn't foist the mores of any particular institution of religion on all of the people. What it really means is there is no official state religion. But increasingly, progressivism is becoming the state religion, and one of its mores is the idea that gay unions are the same as heterosexual unions and that everybody should accept and adopt that definition.

Most people do not agree. I'm fairly sure we could get a majority in practically every state, if not all of them to agree to recognize domestic partnerships, gay unions, "gairages" ... or whatever. But that is not what gay marriage proponents want, despite what they say.

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