Whew. It’s been a long time since I posted anything here, but this video (h/t to Julian) has been on my mind:
"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.
My reaction, like Julian’s, was to get just a bit teary-eyed. If you can look at these photos and still oppose gay marriage, I think your moral intuition is broken.
But at the same time... I really wish that no one, gay or straight, invested state-sanctioned marriage with so much emotional significance. Did Prop 8 actually divorce anybody in the emotionally or spiritually relevant sense? No. I figure that most of the loving couples shown in the video are still together (or at least, they’re as likely to be still together as heterosexual married couples). There is no law preventing gay people from having marriage ceremonies, celebrating anniversaries, presenting themselves as spouses, and so forth. Churches that permit gay marriage can continue to marry same-sex couples. (And churches that oppose gay marriage could refuse to marry them even before Prop 8.) The only question is whether the state ought to formally recognize them.
State-sanctioned marriage does matter, for reasons relating to tax treatment, legal power-of-attorney, parental rights, and so forth. As a matter of civil rights and equal treatment, I favor state-sanctioned gay marriage -- at least until the state backs out of the marriage-sanctioning business entirely. But somehow “don’t take away our preferred tax treatment and legal power of attorney” doesn’t ring the same emotional bell as “don’t divorce us.” If we all viewed state marriage as nothing more than a standard form of contract with a few attendant privileges, maybe the anti-gay-marriage contingent would be less agitated over the whole thing to be begin with.