This diary grows out of a 'discussion' (to be nice) I had in December with certain people regaurding same sex marriage and whether we need to change our tactics.
So here is my premise: It's time to seriously think about 'abandoning' the fight for same sex marriage and instead push to remove the word 'marriage' from legal use and instread use another word. That word is frankly immaterial as I see it and could be one of a hundred things. Further that word would cover the goverment recognition of couples. The same conditions to qualify would apply as before (sans the part disqualifying same sex couples) and the same benefits would apply.
Now before I begin let me make some things clear.
I am not advocating any type of lesser status or seperate but equal type of thing; so anyone accusing me of that will be summarily ignored.
This is a serious discussion and if all you have is anger and insults, go away now please. It's better for everyone. If you respond anyways, I will ignore you and I suggest everyone else does too. As this is my diary you can either try and be polite and civil or you can go away.
I am not expecting people to agree with me, in fact I expect this to be pretty unpopular. That said I really don't give a damn, if people are really serious about advancing equality for all then it would make sense to at least think about what I am suggesting. After all, what does it cost you expect some time and a little bit of energy?
I am more then willing to debate this and will do everything I can to answer anyone and everyone so long as the above is kept in mind.
Okay so maybe what I'm proposing isn't exactly 'new' to everyone. Given the number of people and so on I would readily admit this isn't perhaps precisely new to everyone. But it is 'new' to me and something I've only recently been thinking about.
So perhaps the arguements I'd about to bring up have already been dealt with, if so I'm willing to hear the counter arguements or even just read links. That said, if we're going to have this discussion, simply claiming they've been dealt with before isn't enough.
Now then let's start with a simple premise best illustrated by Sun Tzu
If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
I want to pay particular attention to the last part because it's the extremely revelent to the discussion and perhaps best summarizes my centeral point. Namely that it would be and is my conntention that the weakest point in the entire arguement against granting same sex marriage is the word marriage.
As it stands several prominent polticians that we support (to varying degrees) have spoken and acted forcely for equality and yet don't support same sex marriage. And whatever people here think of those that agree with this agruement against gay marriage the fact is that these people are probably just as stubborn in thier beliefs as we are here. Further (and I expect this to be the most unpopular thing here) those people don't consider themselves bigots or hateful which means that my suggestion creates a sort of escape hatch in which they get to 'win' and yet not win.
Now I am not going to get into a discussion on whether they are or not, such a discussion is messy, tends to be emotionally supercharged and not likely to make anyone happy.
Thus I propose we sidestep it as if you can't go though, then go around and frankly then everyone is happy.
The second I would raise is this, like it or not the religious right in my opnion has won the fight or will win the fight over marriage and we're going to stuck at about 50% to both sides. I know and could name all the hundreds of ways marriage has changed even in the last 200 years and it wouldn't matter as far as the people we're talking about (those that are for equality but not same sex marriage). Further while it is true that eventually same sex marriage will be legalized (as the polling seems to indicate that the block of resistance is really in the 50+ age group) my question is how long should we wait?
As my quote above might indicate, I've read the Art of War and frankly I think it has insights far beyond military tactics (as Sun Tzu says life is war) and another insight is that victory is what's important, not the war. And in this case to me victory is equal rights for all, I frankly don't care to spend 30 years fighting a war that we're somewhat winning and somewhat losing waiting for the day that enough people have died. Honestly who's to say that even then we'll be able to win? At this point the religious right has done a fairly solid group 'protecting' marriage and they're going to have alot more time if we keep doing what we've been doing.
Now why should we do this?
Well the obvious first answer is it's easier. While I have no doubt that around 25% of the country is opposed to equal rights because they really do believe being GBLT is a sin, will lead you to burn in hell and so on; they are a minority. My connention is that what we need to do to turn the tide in this war is flip those people that want to grant equality to same sex couples and yet due to religious reasons don't want it to be called marriage.
Such people I believe would be willing to listen to a well constructed agruement about how both sides benefit (and they do, the religious can make marriage mean whatever they wish and we get equality).
The next answer is that this would be a huge stake in the heart of the far right. By reaching out to people and offering a compromise of sorts (one that would be difficult but doable) instead of (in thier view) forcing our opnions on them we would further fragment the right and push the moderates more into the independents and even democrat column. Let's face it, even if this only appeals to 10-20% of people opposed to same sex marriage that would be a huge advantage.
The final answer I'd have is a little arrogant but the truth is that I geniunely believe this is the better route. I believe in efficency and in what works, I frankly don't care to beat my head against a wall for some 15 years, get only minimal results and then go back to that.
Now let's see if I can anticapate some counter arguements:
- It won't be easy (or some variation of that).
Yes it won't be easy, change never is and this is still a big change. However the point here is that what I am proposing is easier then the current tactics and much more likely to suceed and sooner.
- People (hetrosexual and homosexual) won't accept this.
Maybe, maybe not; I looked for polling on this and never found any so it's a little early I think to make such absolute claims. Further as this is a compromise I don't expect people to be completely happy, the key is that this can be pitched both as a compromise and as a way for both sides to get what they're after.
Further the agruement can be made that what people really celebrate is thier religious marriage, not thier marriage license. In fact I've known people that have gotten thier marriage license weeks (or in one case years) before they were 'married'. So I would say let marriage be religious and let's have goverment have it's own terminology.
- The legal changes would be too many
I am not a lawyer, so what follows is my own (at best) half informed opnion, per my knowledge this really isn't true. As best as I can research what the goverment recognizes as marriage can easily though a bill be called something else.
If someone with a legal background would comment on this agruement, I'd like to know what they think.
I think that about covers it, I will add to it if new arguements are presented in the comments, as that way everyone can see the arguements and my counter point. That way I don't have to repeat myself across multiple comments, I know that's perhaps not the most optimal solution but it's the best one I can think of.