For a party that wants government "off our backs" and "out of our pockets," they sure seem to care a lot about who we love.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina backed an amendment that voters successfully pushed through to their state constitution Tuesday night, acknowledging that only marriages between "one man and one woman" are to be recognized by the state. This comes as Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan surprised many by publicly expressing their "comfort" with same-sex marriage.
President Obama has said he is "wrestling" with the issue of same-sex marriage. I, on the other hand, wrestle with the idea that laws ought to dictate our emotions. They shouldn't.
What is marriage, after all? Opponents of same-sex marriage claim that marriage is about procreation, a task that requires one man and one woman. But you do not have to pass a fertility test to be married, nor do you have to agree to have children. And what about all those married couples that did not have children -- are their marriages any less moral?
The only reasonable purpose of marriage, then, is to foster a healthy, affectionate relationship. We already know that gays and lesbians are more than capable of such a relationship. In fact, with nearly half of marriages ending in divorce in the U.S., perhaps heterosexuals are unqualified to judge others with respect to love and compassion.
With public support for same-sex marriage growing - 43 percent oppose the idea, an all-time low -- it's time the president encourages the trend, instead of ignoring it. Mr. Obama ought to be commended for ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and directing the Department of Justice to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act. And while actions certainly speak louder than words, it's upsetting that the president is sitting on the sidelines, especially considering that his support could inject much-needed energy into the debate.
In the president's words, his views on same-sex marriage are "evolving." Now, Mr. President, with all due respect, you are 50 years old. There is not much evolution when it comes to this issue -- you either believe in equal rights or you do not. How can you have trouble with such a simple issue but have firm positions on, say, complex economic policies? The game is over -- it's time to speak out.
It's a sad day when some feel there ought to be laws governing our feelings and our personal lives. Quite frankly, I don't know why anyone cares who others marry -- it's strictly a personal decision with no recognizable effect on anybody else. It is, in essence, a perfect example of an issue that government has no need or right to act on.
So mark today as the day I finally agree with the GOP -- Government should get off our backs, they should get out of our pockets. And you know what, they should to get out of our hearts, too.
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