Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Something For Everybody

We’ve got something for everybody right now in Colorado.

Amendment 43 will change the constitution of Colorado to define marriage as ‘a union between one man and one woman.’

I’m guessing some folks behind this amendment intend to send gays and polygamists fleeing back to California and Utah respectively :^). Others honestly believe that by passing a constitutional amendment people will somehow change their sexual behavior.

Referendum I will give gay and lesbian couples the legal right to join in “civil unions.” Not marriage but pretty much the same civil and legal rights that straight married couples enjoy.

We’re the only state in the union with both of these kinds of measures on the ballot at the same time.

Think I’m gonna vote no on Amendment 43.

I’m a Christian type of guy.

The institution of marriage is basically religious and has always signified the hope for a lifetime union of a man and a woman.

I’m all for it.

I’m doing it.

But I’m not sure we need constitutional amendments to support it. The best spiritual stuff always shies away from depending on the power of the state.

I’m probably gonna vote yes on Referendum I.

Can’t think of too many compelling reasons to deny basic legal and civil rights to people who want to try to care for each other for the rest of their lives.

I’m in no position to judge how well they’ll follow through. Probably not very well if the stats on divorce are any indication.

But why not give ‘em a shot to demonstrate that the stereotypes about gays are wrong?

We’re an experimental democracy. That’s what the whole thing is about and why it’s so cool and worth defending.


Anonymous Jon said...

I agree with you on both measures.

1:43 AM  
Blogger 3wishes said...

Does legal and civil include being able to claim spouse status on either or both: Medical insurance and Income tax status? Just wondering. I always thought it was corporate america pulling those strings so they dont have to cover the spouse on insurance and the IRS losing out on all those single tax payer status filings. I guess I always think in economics and not theology. Ive never believed that Christians are taking the stand on gays due to the bible. I believe its all a money thing, power thing etc. So, if this passes does it take effect before "open enrollment" in Nov?

8:32 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Tom, I think I can agree with your rational for voting against the marriage language ammendment. It seems dubious that many Christians in America won't just state what seems to their operating reality, ie. that they are trying to make the US a more Christian nation through legality, not through evangelism & interpersonal or local influence.

Having said that, the place where I do partially buy-in to the fear that fuels the culture wars is what happens in x number of years when it then becomes, as an example, illegal for churches that don't want to hire a gay pastor for theological reasons (assuming we can be so pure...) What happens then, when the legality issue was established in a different context, but then gets applied in a new one?

12:54 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Yes to both 3. Honest insights :^)Don't know if it will take effect before open enrollment. I'll have to check that out.

Exactly Scott. I'm not excited about the whole Christian right enterprise of trying to make the nation more godly by constitutional amendment. Amendments won't change people's sexual preferences.

I hear your concerns about the slippery slope and I'm sympathetic. Sometimes seemingly good decisions have unfortunate unintended consequences. Hey, not sometimes. Pretty much always :^)

But I don't understand how giving gays legal rights in civil unions threatens the rights of churches to choose who they please as their leaders. That connection seems a little convoluted.

Article 1 of the Constitution restricts the government from making laws respecting an establishment of religion. Religious liberty is the fulcrum of democratic liberty. When religious liberty is really under attack I'll be in the front lines.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

I agree with Wordcat on this one, even though I use to promote the slippery slope argument. But I had a random epiphany moment (in the shower, actually) when I decided that I had to support what I felt was right, even if it may have unintended negative consequences down the road. And like Tom says, we've got to give the couples a shot. Many homosexual communities are racked by suffering and death due to sexually transmitted diseases, and yes, this is mostly due to promiscuity. But exactly how promiscuous do you think the heterosexual community would be if marriage was banned for them? I still don't think churches should officiate homosexual marriages or approve of homosexual practice - but I think it is absoultely wrong to advocate the denial of government services, especially when we know that denying them those services may be increasing their suffering and death.

And this doesn't even touch the issue of how many people (gay and straight) that such wrongheaded political fights embitter against the church. I certainly believe in the church standing up for what's right, even when that goes against public opinion. But when you're alienating the public and increasing suffering by trying to force people who aren't even part of the church into following your religious law, it's really sad.

11:33 PM  

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