Wednesday, July 26, 2006

They're Still Wrong

I do care that Washington State's Supreme Court upheld a ban on gay marriage. To say I don't care would just be flippant. I still believe they're wrong, and that time will prove Massachusetts right. Some things take time--votes for women and minorities, civil rights for non-whites. I'm just finding it harder to be patient as I think of a segment of our population that's denied a right that my husband and I didn't have to fight for.

There are a few rays of light, however:

In a splintered decision, Justice Barbara Madsen wrote that the state's marriage law was enacted to "promote procreation and to encourage stable families."

"The legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the State's legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children."

She wrote that the same-sex couples failed to prove that they had a fundamental right to marry, or that the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

The 5-4 ruling -- signed by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander and Justice Charles Johnson -- also noted a hardship for same-sex couples, however, and suggested that the legislature "may want to re-examine the impact of the marriage laws on all citizens of this state." (Emphasis added by me.)

I'm hoping that last sentiment--that this ruling is hurting law-abiding citizens--will begin to take hold among a larger segment of the population at large.

One final note: This continuing "defense" of marriage as largely (or solely) to promote procreation is yet again a slap in the face to those couples who cannot (or choose not to) have children. Are these marriages, though heterosexual, somehow less "legitimate" than those in which children are born? This argument has always struck me as both weak and offensive, so find another one already.

If the state wants to support stable homes for children, then cut poverty, increase employment, provide more beds for drug/alcohol rehab, and improve the schools. Those things will make homes for children more stable, not some mean-spirited law that reduces the rights of citizens.

4 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Yes, the argument that marriage is for procreation is a slap in the face to infertile folks, but it is also absurd on many other levels.

Do they think that if gay folks can't marry they'll find a member of the opposite sex to have children with instead?!

Also, if marriage is only for procreation is the government implying that (fertile) men should dump their wives after they go through menopause?!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Well, the state of New York recently upheld a gay marriage ban because the court said heterosexual couples are more likely to get pregnant by accident, therefore marriage should be reserved for straights in part to protect the children born because of those accidental pregnancies. (I wish I were making that up.)

Umm...I planned my one and only pregnancy. Does that mean I shouldn't have been married before I had my son?

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Drug rehab said...

"If the state wants to support stable homes for children, then cut poverty, increase employment, provide more beds for drug/alcohol rehab, and improve the schools. Those things will make homes for children more stable, not some mean-spirited law that reduces the rights of citizens."

Well said.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Thanks! After last week's vote at the Con-Con, it's easy to lose some hope.

6:04 AM  

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