May 16, 2008


The California Supreme Court decision on the issue of same-sex marriage includes this observation:

While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children.

One would think this to be a simple and obvious fact. Yet the foul cry has already gone up that such a broadening of recognition will in fact have impact upon either those mixed-sex couples already married, or those who might contemplate it. I'm sorry, but this begins to sound a bit like, “I don't want to be part of a(n) _________ that allows _________ to join.” Fill in the blanks as you will. It also begins to sound an awful lot like some couples want “special rights” reserved, rights and privileges that only apply to them and not to other couples. Stay posted as the effort to write these special rights into the California Constitution presses forward.

Meanwhile, it appears that, yes, Virginia, you are not alone in wanting to maintain your diocesan authority and trusteeship (in the name of The Episcopal Church) over Episcopal churches. According to a report from Episcopal Café, a whole slew of other churches (and the other dioceses in the state) have joined those already in the Diocese of Virginia's Friends List. They make a compelling case that state intrusion into the inner workings of any church constitutes an unconstitutional interference with the religious right to order a church according to its own beliefs and doctrines. Again, stay tuned for what is bound to be an important court decision.

Tobias Haller BSG


Rory said...

The objections of some folks to the legal recognition of same sex relationships, especially when the disingenuous "special rights" claim is used, seems like it is really about the desire to retain and protect heterosexual privilege.

It's nigh impossible for me to see that the extension of the marriage privilege to committed monogamous same-sex couples does anything other than strengthen society. Perhaps that's why opponents aren't able to articulate any specifics about the 'harm' to traditional marriage that they appear to fear.

Is it possible their underlying, unacknowledged fear is that without being able to exclude same-sex couples from marriage, the heretofore unquestioned benefits attached to their traditional marriage privilege are somehow devalued?

June Butler said...

Good news from California and good news from Virginia. It's making me giddy.

Heterosexuals have done their bit to undermine traditional marriage without any help from same sex couples.

Scott, I see what you're saying. If everyone has it, then it's worth less.

Anonymous said...

Unwittingly or most likely not, you suggest a stradegy to turn the opposition on its head as it moves forward in the promised upcoming referendumn debacle. As Scott and the Republican supreme court also acknowledges that "special rights" are in fact being sought for heterosexuals. Heterosexual privledge will continue to exsist for a long time in our society but will no longer be enshrined in law. As goes California, so goes the nation.

Anonymous said...

I believe that it is closeted gays who most oppose gay marriage. After all, they have chosen to be straight (doesn't everybody?} and being married automatically assures all those they encounter of their straightness. If gays are allowed to marry, then the closeted can no longer demonstrate their straightness by displaying a wedding ring or mentioning that they are married.

Paul Davison said...

When we see stories like the California case, my wife and I will look at each other and say, "Gee, I feel so threatened in our marriage." (If we really felt threatened, that would say volumes more about us than about anyone else.)