Monday, April 13, 2009

About those Log Cabin Republicans

I am a Christian, and I support gay rights. For a long time, I tried to abstain from this discussion because of personal beliefs about religion and how a family should be and because I have a lot of gay friends who I love dearly whom I didn't want to offend. I didn't want to admit that while I supported gay rights, I would draw the line at marriage. But I've never felt comfortable with my position and no longer feel like I can hide behind the libertarian excuse of "governments should not be in the business of marriage anyways."

First, we need to put aside our religious beliefs. Last I checked, all Americans seem pretty on board with the whole freedom of religion thing so thus you can't use religious arguments to argue against gay political rights. If you feel really strongly about it and so does your church, nothing has to change for you. Your pastor can choose not to conduct wedding ceremonies for gay couples and you probably won't have many gay congregants as a result. Thus, your daily life will go unchanged.

One of my earliest and most basic political beliefs is a crude reduction of a Lockean principle - "My rights end where yours begin." You may have an objection or even aversion to gay marriage, but your life probably isn't affected by it. Let the people whose lives are being affected lobby for change.

I'm not the biggest fan of Meghan McCain. Let's face it, she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and it's really just her name and connections that gets her pieces placed, but here she has a point - "A Gayer GOP:"
At the most basic level, sexual orientation should not be a factor in how you are treated. If the Republican Party has any hope of gaining substantial support from a wider, younger base, we need to get past our anti-gay rhetoric. As you can imagine, the road for gay Republicans hasn't been an easy one. Most seem to find the words "homosexual" and "conservative" inherent contradictions, much the same way so many people can’t seem to reconcile fiscal conservatism and the big-tent philosophy of freedom and justice for all. A dear friend of mine who’s both gay and Republican told me, “I find myself constantly being asked how I can reconcile who I am as a person with a party that lately has had such a gay-unfriendly message. Where I stand politically doesn't begin and end with my sexuality. Unfortunately, there is a perception that gays with moderate to conservative views are self-loathing.”
Republicans need to fight the perception that we're close-minded dictators of social morays. Advocating for gay rights could be a huge step in the right direction.

The one thing that concerns me is that as we support minority rights - such as gay rights - I don't think that we need to codify these qualifiers into law. The Declaration of Independence says that "All men are created equal." It doesn't say "all black, white, and yellow men" nor does it say "all men and women" - it just says men. We don't need to muddy the waters by creating new legislation or amending the constitution. Discriminatory laws need to be taken off the books, but I don't believe in mandating positive justice (holla my old h.s. debate days). Writing laws that single out specific groups is more divisive than unifying and creates special interest groups that often outlive their relevancy - hello NAACP! The Constitution protects everyone as is - let's just start living up to it in practice.

Suffice it to say, I love all of my friends gay or straight and believe in a loving, merciful God who is capable of accepting them and any flaws/sins ANY of them have...IF they will accept Him. And furthermore, my fervent hope is that my loved ones may all find a consistent partner to share their lives with. Who am I to judge and who am I to play matchmaker?

1 comment:

Adwell said...

I've never understood why we have to designate "marriage" the only legal union. "Marriage," as I understand it, is a religious institution. Okay-- most religions don't advocate homosexuality. No problem. I'm NOT a Christian. I don't feel the need to marry in the religious sense. But I want my tax breaks. Let gays... and anyone else who doesn't wished to marry in accordance with a specific religion... have something legally binding, but not church sanctioned. I don't see the issue. I think we, as a society, overlook the obvious solution. And we can keep the term "spouse" to indicate a marriage or civil union.