15 June 2005

Gay marriage! Ack!


He comes at it from a different direction, but John Cole's position on gay marriage winds up being essentially the same as mine.

I think it's a basic human rights argument. That is, you should avoid, as much as possible, discriminating against people based on what they are, such as race, gender, etc. Experience has taught me that that list includes sexual orientation. So I think it's wrong to deny homosexuals access to their life partners in hospitals, or to prevent them from adopting children, or joining the army, or anything else.

"Separate but equal" won't work, we learn from history. Besides, the opponents of gay marriage are also opposed to civil unions for gays.

I would also oppose forcing churches to legitimize unions they don't agree with, on freedom of religion grounds.

And so I think that the best solution is to separate out the religious side of marriage from the civil aspects. The state can sanction civil unions for all couples, goy and straight, who want them. These would confer inheritance, hospital visitation rights, joint tax returns, and all of the rest of the legal ramifications.

Churches, though, could marry couples, which would confer the blessings of their god(s), but would not imply any change in legal status.

That way, everyone but the would-be theocrats can be happy.