The Changing Tide

The issue of gay marriage has come up again and again over the years.  It reminds me of a steadily rising tide as we near dusk.  The waves have finally shown their white caps.  Now, it is time to grab a surf board and enjoy the glorious ride to its inevitable beautiful conclusion.

What led to this massive wave?  On March 7th, Bill Clinton wrote a piece for the Washington Post calling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which he signed into law in 1996. On March 15th, Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio publicly backed gay marriage after his son came out as being gay. On March 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) held hearings on Propostion 8.  Today (March 27th), SCOTUS will question the constitutionality of DOMA.

The Rising Tide (from FiveThirtyEight Blog)

Gay marriage is still not allowed in Missouri.  Since this is the case, academic institutions across the state which are full of forward thinking individuals have had to juggle around this injustice to offer employees in a committed same-sex relationship the same benefits and privileges as other employees that are married.  Truman State University is only now considering these benefits.  A joint resolution to encourage the board to act immediately in extending these benefits to domestic partners has already passed the Student Senate unanimously.  It is on the agenda of the Faculty Senate for tomorrow (March 28th).

Everywhere around me is the topic of gay marriage.  It is unavoidable.  I’ve already weighed in my opinion with my blog “Who will I vote for?” Since then, I’ve heard many other arguments against gay marriage.  They have all been discredited in some way or another.  I am closing in on a saturation point of arguments for and against.  Here is how all of them go in my head: 
Someone arguing against gay marriage tries to makes point A or argument B that does not support gay marriage.  I simply point out that point A or argument B is not anywhere in the vicinity of being as important to me as the equal treatment of all human beings, and that I find it appalling that their point A or argument B is MORE important to them than the equal treatment of all human beings.  
Usually at this point, the individual provides some song or dance around the issue of equality for all.  It is quite amusing to me to watch those that oppose gay marriage to dance around this issue.  They try their best to somehow justify their stance while sweeping this equality thing under the carpet.  But here we come, lifting the carpet back up and pointing at what is underneath.  Shame on them. 
If you are one to oppose gay marriage, shame on you for placing yourself on some high horse, where you may look down upon those you don’t understand and say, “No, I will not grant you these rights and privileges that I enjoy.”  Shame on you for thinking for a second that you have the right to pass judgement.  Shame on you for placing more weight in a definition, then the freedoms of “those other” people.  

3 thoughts on “The Changing Tide

  1. I like the tide allegory!

    You and I (as with so many things it seems) are on much the same page with this issue. We agree that it’s neither logically, or morally sound to discriminate against any two adults in a loving, mutual relationship. I suspect that we would also agree that because same-sex marriage neither picks our pockets nor breaks our legs any more than heterosexual marriage, there’s no sound reason to obstruct its federal and state recognition.

    Where we may slightly differ is how far along to ‘expect’ institutions to be with their HR paperwork in preparation for that recognition. I don’t see why it’s much more complicated than seeing what the current policy is and changing a few of the pronouns around…But that’s a different discussion.

    What I wonder is this: If and when we afford same-sex relationships the same recognition given to heterosexual relationships, on the premise that they can and do share the same affection and bonds, along with all the other complex emotions which tie people together; then do we not also make an argument for the recognition of polyamorous relationships –where one person can have multiple, recognized under the law partners?

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  2. Thank you, Joe, for being the second person to ever have commented on my posts, and for begin the first in over a year.

    Although I wouldn't want the job of trying to figure out how that would work in terms of benefits and taxes, polyamorous relationships should be allowed since this SHOULD be a free country. There are many things one would have to figure out with such an allowance. For example, proving a spouse has committed adultery gives the other spouse much leverage in a divorce settlement. How would that work with a divorce in a polygamous relationship? Wouldn't it be understood that it is a polygamous relationship, and the spouse is simply trying to find more partners? Or, if someone in a monogamous relationship cheats, could they plea that they were under the understanding that the relationship was polygamous?

    I'm sure some of those complications could be addressed with a simple box you check on your marriage certificate, but I don't even think I've scratched the surface.

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  3. If I haven’t already recommended these –check out ‘The Ten Things You Can’t Say In America’ by Larry Elder. Then read ‘Free to Choose’ and/or ‘Capitalism & Freedom’ by Milton & Rose Friedman. I think they’ll all jive with you.

    Providing some answer to your questions…I imagine we could construct marriage certificates/licenses with language that recognizes a plurality marriage. People could have a choice between a marriage certificate which reads as a bond between two individuals, OR one that leaves open the possibility for additional parties presently or down the road.

    Running through contractual language in my head, I’d expect the workaround to the adultery concern to be addressed 1stly in which marriage certificate is obtained. The monogamous certificate would close the door upfront on the plurality relationship argument. If we’re working with a plurality certificate, then the those already listed on the certificate could sign an acknowledgement that additional parties are either being pursued to join the collective, or are becoming part of the established whole.

    Of course there IS some fine tuning needed for each contract…Does everyone already established need to agree on the inclusion of additional parties; 2/3 majority, 3/5, etc? And god help any member who pursues a relationship not documentedly agreed to by their spouses. They could be paying alimony in over five different directions.

    The life insurance paperwork taking children and spouses into account is where the real fun begins, and where I’m going to cut this short; because that would be a discussion in itself.

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