Friday, February 17, 2012

Lawful Good

I have this problem which seems to affect very few of my friends.  It does affect my husband, which is why he's my husband.

The problem?  I want certain things which I consider morally important, but I want them to be gotten the right way, in concert with our country's laws and traditions.

I have never made a secret of the fact that I support gay marriage.  Gays marrying affects me not one whit, as I'm heterosexual (strangely, most of the people I know over the 'net seem to think I'm bi; women lack a...certain something it requires to capture & hold my sexual interest, but that's neither here nor there).  It doesn't affect the quality or sanctity of my marriage.  It doesn't affect my family, though I suppose it could in the future when the kids are grown.

I am glad to see the spread of marriage equality.  I think Chris Christie is an ass for his promise to veto NJ's marriage equality bill.  I am quite happy that Christine Gregoire signed Washington state's law without cavil.

However, while I appreciate the ends, I am strongly dissatisfied with the means.  WA's marriage bill was voted into place.  Voting on civil rights is a horrible thing; I think it's the greatest argument against direct democracy that exists.

Here's the problem with it: if Washington's vote on marriage equality was legal and acceptable, so was California's Proposition 8.  Both are the will of the people, after all.

What prompts this post is a link posted by a dear friend of mine to Facebook; a link to an online petition apparently entitled "President Obama: Sign the Executive Order Adding LGBT Workplace Protections to Millions of American Jobs - Sign the Petition!"

While I do, in fact, support the idea of ensuring workers are not discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality (and yes, this happens, and it happens a lot, and you should care because gay people wrongly denied jobs or fired from jobs wind up on the dole), I emphatically do not support making this law by executive fiat.

The Constitution rather clearly lays out the process by which laws can be made.  Presidents Gone Wild with the executive order pen doesn't make it acceptable.  If it's that important to you, get in touch with your legislators and get the damned law passed properly.  If nothing else, that would prevent President Santorum from undoing the protection.*

*No, that is not an endorsement.  Or a prediction.  But you know damn good and well he would immediately undo any such order.


Bob S. said...

The Constitution rather clearly lays out the process by which laws can be made.

I think that is the issue I have. While the Constitution lays out how laws are made, there is nothing in the Constitution authorizing the government to be in the business of regulating marriage.

Instead of passing laws recognizing this or that type of marriage; shouldn't we be pushing for the government to get out of recognizing any?

I think the government does have an interest in promoting stable relationships and family but that can be done by registering civil commitments/contract instead of marriages.

Let the religions or churches define & recognize marriage; let the government be involved only when people want to tell them they are in a relationship.

Divorce is already viewed as dissolving a contract; so it isn't that far of a stretch.

Dave said...

Great post and great comment by Bob.

I agree that the government has no business being involved in marriage, but it is. If there is any benefit for married people in the federal tax code, it either needs to be dropped or make it available to gay folks seeking marriage/civil union. More importantly, I think, are the automatically assumed legal things that happen when a spouse dies. Property is generally passed to the surviving spouse. Without gay marriage or special legal documents that may cost more than some couples have, a surviving gay partner may not have the same protection as a heterosexual spouse enjoys. These are just a few things that have zero impact on the quality of heterosexual marriage if the same right were given to gay couples, yet the impact on gays is tremendous.

I support gay marriage, and as an independent thinking Republican, I would vote for Obama and even Hillary before I would even consider Santorum. What a douche.

And Sabra, I accept that you are not bi, even if there is nothing wrong with it if you happened to be!

Albatross said...

I know I'm going to step on your toes a little here, but I just wanted to put it out there that some people just don't care too much one way or the other on this issue. I'm one.

I'm not against gay marriage, but that doesn't mean I necessarily support it either. In fact, I'm of the mind that marriage should be more of a religious thing than a legal thing anyway. Gay marriage is obviously a very big deal to a lot of people, but when it comes to me, I have bigger things to worry about.

Just puttin' another viewpoint out there.

Sabra said...

It doesn't step on my toes at all, actually. I'd be perfectly fine if, as BobS suggested, the government got out of the marriage business completely. I do not see that happening, though.

And of course we all have our own pet issues. I don't care overly much about issues such as capital gains tax and the inheritance tax, and not very much about immigration and visa issues, which is why I rarely blog about them. I see it as being somewhat akin to musical tastes--what moves me may not move you.