Your Facebook status updates note your intense displeasure over North Carolina voters approving Amendment One. Since as a North Carolina resident you had some actual say in the matter, and to your credit you put boots on the ground by manning the phone banks urging your fellow NCers to vote no, I suspect the last person you want to hear from right now is your überconservative California uncle. However, since as you know I seldom do what people prefer, and considering how I am perhaps the only Republican Deadhead on the planet, my take on things thus leaning toward the individualistic, I’ll chime in.
First, it’s important to note, as you have, that Renee Ellmers, who I hold in the highest regard as a solid conservative who lives in the real world, opposed the amendment. Her stated reason that, while she is opposed to gay marriage, the amendment overreached by also banning civil unions is significant. I know there are those on the right screaming Ellmers should be thrown off the tea party train for this alleged crime against humanity, but since there are always purist zealots ranting about how the slightest variance from their definition of The Way Things Ought To Be is cause for political excommunication it’s no big. I imagine you get the same loose marbles on the left. Well, even looser than the usual loons, a/k/a 99 44/100% of all liberals. (Just making sure you haven’t forgotten I’m your uncle. But I digress.)
It’ll doubtless be no surprise to you that you and I hold different opinions on gay marriage. What may surprise you is the difference. You support gay marriage. I don’t support it. Don’t oppose it either. When it comes to gay marriage, I’m pure honey badger: don’t care. Deeply, profoundly, overwhelmingly don’t care.
My opinion is the state shouldn’t be in the marriage business period. It should issue civil union licenses, without which a couple cannot marry, solely to those who qualify; again in my opinion it should be two consenting adults not from the same family and over twenty-one (I’ve never met a nineteen year old who was ready for that marriage thing which usually takes place after the wedding… and yes, I’m still Uncle Grump). Marriage should be strictly a church issue with zero state participation. Obviously San Francisco’s Metropolitan Community Church would have a different marriage policy than the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. That’s all right. There is a difference between legal status as a couple and being married. The former is a state matter; the latter a church matter. If a denomination doesn’t believe gay marriages are legitimate, that’s their right. And vice versa. Marriage should be in the eyes of the church. Period.
Note I said two consenting adults, from which one might infer I support gay marriage. I don’t. To me, marriage is one man and one woman. I have gay friends. I pray they find successful relationships, and I’ve counseled more than one on their relationships; not in an effort to dissuade them but rather in the hope of helping them become a stronger couple. That doesn’t mean I believe they have the right to marry each other. If what I suggest above were to become law they could, and I’m fine with that. But not in my church. That doesn’t make me a hater. It makes me a believer in traditional marriage, and it’s my hope that belief will be respected.
Which leads me to the next point: respect. I hope you don’t fall prey to demonizing people who see things, and vote, different than you. I doubt you will; you’re a smart kid (and you’ll always be a kid to me even though you’ve hit the big 4-0). It’s a repulsive thing when people go off the deep end and go off personally on those who see things differently. Don’t go there. Stay calm; stay respectful. Use logic and reason to make your point. If someone continues to disagree, let it be and move on to someone else. Always, always be the better.
There is another aspect to respect. Namely, respecting the people’s will. North Carolina’s voters have strongly stated their preference in defining marriage. So be it. That doesn’t mean resigned acceptance; that response to elections is reserved for when officials are chosen for office. In that case, you shrug your shoulders, analyze where things went wrong and start working on doing better the next time around. You know, like I did after 2008?
Back to Amendment One. I know there will doubtless be court challenges. Don’t support them. Why? Even if they succeed, nothing will be accomplished. A similar measure will be back on the ballot, and a whole lot of ticked off people will vote for it, angered that some judge or judges ignored their previously stated will. A legal win that alienates a majority of the people is as Pyrrhic a victory as possible. You don’t want that win. You want the real deal. That will come by going Marines: winning over hearts and minds. Certainly it will take longer than legal challenges. But it’s the right way.
Those are my thoughts on the subject, dear niece. As I said when I first started blogging, it’s one man, one voice, one opinion; conside it as you will. Take care. My love to you, the hubby and rugrats.
P.S. A side note. Couple of quotes for you:
“In an August 2008 vetting session, we talked about gay marriage. That’s when I told them about Tilly, my junior high friend and college roommate, who, after college, decided to openly live the lifestyle she chose with her partner. To me, she was still Tilly. I loved her dearly — loved the whole Ketchum family. I explained to Schmidt that I opposed homosexual marriage, but that didn’t seem too controversial in the campaign since the Democrat candidate for president held the same position.”
“I had been in office two weeks when the Supreme Court required us to offer health benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.
“I support the traditional definition of marriage. One man & one woman to make a marriage. And I don’t support efforts that can lead to changing that definition.
“But on this issue, the court was the lawful interpreter of the state Constitution. The promise I had made when being sworn into office was to uphold the Constitution. That meant I would be bound by the judiciary’s ruling. So when conservatives in the legislature passed a bill that would prohibit state benefits for same-sex couples, the court ruled it unconstitutional, so I vetoed it.
“A few angry lawmakers visited my office, outraged that I hadn’t bucked the court. A couple of them said I should have been willing to go to jail over the issue.
“And if the people want to amend the Constitution via referendum, I told the lawmakers, they have the right to battle it out and do so.”
You know who said these things, right?
And you know Dick Cheney is an open advocate for gay marriage, right?
People can surprise you when you let them.