One of my closest friends, Jay Caton posted to an earlier blog dealing with Homosexual Unions. We respect each others opinions and since its rare that we come down on different sides of the issues, I figured I would share it on this blog (with his permission). His rebuttal and yours are welcome!
I'm deeply saddened that Maine voters have overturned their same-sex marriage laws. It’s a blow to all our rights, gay or straight.
This is not a religious issue. They will not "teach" our children how to be gay. In fact, in what class are they teaching them, to be straight?
They will not “overrun” our system and cause problems in our society. It works in Mass, it works, in 4 other states and in numerous other country’s. It can work across the US too.
No one is saying that individuals need to "accept" same sex relationships or "lifestyles". There are those who still are very vocal about their dislike for interracial marriage. Just this week a justice of the piece in Texas resigned his post because he did not want to perform such wedding ceremonies. He did not need to resign; he could have just chosen not to do those weddings. That’s fine. But he can’t tell interracial couple they can not wed at all.
And no one should be able to tell a same sex couple they can’t either.
I haven't read much about the decision in Maine, but I did read that it marks the 31st time that the electorate has voted down a measure for gay marriage in the US. Whether one agrees with the decision or not, I believe that a referendum style vote is the most clear way to deal with this issue. It is not small minded to defend a principle such as the definition of marriage as one man/one woman (who also meet other important criteria such as not being related). People have just as much right to vote for a more open interpretation of marriage if they wanted to... its just that the majority hasn't... 31 straight times in a row including states more likely be vote blue like California and now Maine.
The real mistake is the tactic to use the word marriage to describe a homosexual relationship. That word marriage is what actually does make this a religious issue for many people. Marriage is deeply ceremonial and religious in nature.
Government has endorsed this method and then applied rights associated with marriage. Government has laws that deal with marriage or religious institutions and those laws are meant to protect citizens from religious fraud.
The key for successful gay-rights is to look to the government to apply rights associated with marriage, but under different terminology and conditions. Just like there are rights applied to a 'common marriage' couple, there can be... and should be... rights applied to a homosexual couple. They should be concerned with new rhetoric to support government recognition of an entirely new category of relationship that qualifies for tax credits, health care benefits, beneficiary rights and so on.
Just don't call it marriage.