Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gay Marriage: It's the American Way

I have previously voiced my belief that it is patently unamerican that homosexuals are not allowed to marry in this country. I frankly cannot understand why the American government (at the behest of the American people) is involved in sexual ethics at all. It is legal in this country for two men to hold hands, to kiss, to have sexual intercourse, to cohabitate, to adopt children (with a little hoop jumping), to grant each other power of attorney, and to name one another in their wills. If twelve male dwarves wanted to have an orgy in a vat of chocolate pudding, they could do it legally and make the pet parrot watch. We may be disgusted by it (and I may never each chocolate pudding again after concocting that image), but there seems to be a pretty general consensus that our government should not be involved in the sexual behavior of consenting adults. It boggles my mind, in view of all this, that so many Americans would take such a firm stand on whether or not homosexuals can enter into the (unfortunately) public contract of marriage.

And since we are talking about the "rights" of homosexuals anyway, now seems as good a time as any to share a selection from Ron Paul's Liberty Defined on this very issue:

Most Americans do not question the requirement to obtain a license to get married. As in just about everything else, this requirement generates unnecessary problems and heated disagreements. If the government was not involved there would be no discussion or controversy over the definition of marriage. Why should the government give permission to two individuals for them to call themselves married? In a free society, something that we do not truly enjoy, all voluntary and consensual agreements would be recognized. If disputes arose, the courts could be involved as in any other civil dispute…

I’d like to settle the debate by turning it into a First Amendment issue: the right of free speech. Everyone can have his or her own definition of what marriage means, and if an agreement or contract is reached by the participants, it will qualify as a civil contract if desired…

I personally identify with the dictionary definition of marriage: “The social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live together as husband and wife by legal commitments or religious ceremony.” If others who choose a different definition do not impose their standards on anyone else, they have a First Amendment right to their own definition and access to the courts to arbitrate any civil disputes.

While I do not recall Paul mentioning it, I think it warrants remembering that marriage licences have been used throughout the past century of American history by the government in order to enforce what it believes are acceptable standards for marriages. In times not so long past, the government protected us from the possible catastrophe of marriages between whites and blacks or, worse still, Japanese! The practice is not as distant as we might like to believe. At some point, it might be nice if the people realized that they did not need the government to protect them from the gay menace. If you don't want to marry, befriend, or even break bread with a homosexual, then you are more than welcome not to. In the meantime, if you do not want the government poking around in your private contracts (or your privates in general) then it is the height of hypocrisy to demand that it interfere with the affairs of everyone else.

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