Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage - Bigotry Is Alive and Kicking, from Popes to Justices

What is it with the World and Gay marriage? The unfettered bigotry of the resistance to it, from Popes to American Justices, makes it hard to believe we live in the 21st century. As for the rationalisations, and often from seemingly intelligent people, they boggle the mind.

The New York Times published some valuable quotes on the subject. Our esteemed new Pope Francis I wrote in a 2010 letter to Buenos Aires monasteries, “Let’s not be naive: this isn’t a simple political fight, it’s an attempt to destroy God’s plan.”  

His predecessor, Benedict XVI, said in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, “Above all, we must have great respect for these people who also suffer and who want to find their own way of correct living.” Which sounded great until he added “On the other hand, to create a legal form of a kind of homosexual marriage, in reality, does not help these people.”  

He was just carrying on a tradition. John Paul II wrote, in Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium, “It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this [gay marriage] is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.” 

In the Ironton Tribune Michael Reagan, son of Ronald, made a call to arms of all the sanctified people in the US – sanctimonious more like in reality – whether they be Protestants, Jews or Catholics (he doesn’t mention Muslims or Bhuddists). He castigated them for having no moral outrage. “Why aren’t thousands of our pastors, priests and rabbis shouting from their pulpits? Why aren’t they leading their congregations through the streets in mass protest?” He commanded them to unify and rise up against gay marriage which in his opinion will create a dangerous precedent, “a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder.”

Two same-sex marriage cases before the US the Supreme Court have the Justices hemming and hawing and generally dithering, grumbling over having to make a decision about the constitutionality of Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage in California in 2008, and the Defence of Marriage Act which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Chief Justice Roberts even went so far as to wish that President Obama had just refused to enforce a law he didn’t believe in. Great advice coming from the Supreme Court. 

Of the dumbest arguments I’ve read against same-sex marriage the first is that the purpose of marriage is procreation - which means nobody who’s sterile or simply doesn’t want to have children, or is too old for it to happen, should be able to marry. The second is that it can’t be allowed because of the gays who will then get married just for the tax breaks. I’m not even going to get started on the Bible.

But the strangest part of all this is how heterosexual marriage is placed on a pedestal as if it’s the foundation of all that’s healthy in western society. In reality, the marriages that work are the ones where both partners have love and respect for each other, are committed, and are accountable for themselves. Hardly the domain of heterosexuals.