Gay Marriage--A Principled, Vote-Winning Stand?
by Paul Rosenberg, Fri May 13, 2005 at 08:51:39 AM EDT
I think we need a stand on gay marriage that is (1) 1I say if I were running for office?" -- Especially in contrast to Kerry's despicable pandering.
(1) I am personally committed to gay marriage. This comes directly from my commitment to the American ideal of equality, of liberty and justice for all.
(2) However, I realize that many Americans do not yet share this view. I believe the reasons are primarily irrational, but I have no doubt they are deeply held. I believe that forcing the issue would only deepen the divisions in our society. What I am most interested in is not just equality and tolerance, but true acceptance and respect. Forcing my personal morality on others--my personal commitment to gay marriage--would undermine this more fundamental goal.
(3) Therefore, I support civil unions, with all the legal rights of marriage. I believe that depriving gays and lesbians of hundreds of legal rights and privileges enjoyed by married couples is simply unacceptable to most Americans when they really stop and think about it.
(4) I realize that there will be people on both sides of this issue who will attack me, and that is their right as Americans. I feel comfortable with that, because my position comes entirely from what I believe and what I value, and I would rather lose defending that than win by betraying it.
I don't believe that such a stand will necessarily win votes--only that it has the potential to, that it creates an opening for the kind of conversation we need to have to turn back an otherwise toxic, hate-mongering attack on a vulnerable, still much-despised minority.
Finally, in a larger sense, the biggest battle we face is to turn the battle of politics back into a conversation. Because of that, I believe this stance has a value that transcends the issue of gay rights alone. I would like to know what others think.
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