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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:

  1.  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.

  1.  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.

  1. 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.

Originally posted to drache on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:33 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is the word "marriage" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Many focus their lizzard brains in the word and nothing else.

  •  As a straight, married male I don't agree w/this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CajunBoyLgb, drache, Ohio Max

    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.

    I don't deny this is true for some people, but not all. I am straight and married. We had a beautiful but totally secular ceremony. However, I celebrate my marriage and my spouse - not the ceremony.

    As to the whole proposal, I'd MUCH rather let couples of any orientation get married than have my marriage stripped of legal meaning.

    For me, personally, I find that much more offensive than letting everyone get married. My marriage will never be threatened by your marriage. It IS threatened by this proposal.

    I demand prosecutions for torture.

    by heart of a quince on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:39:53 AM PST

  •  Same Sex marriage will become law soon enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mama jo

    I think the best tactic is to "wait it out".  All the younger generations are for gay marriage overall.  I am for gay marriage.  The best strategy may be to wait it out while older generations who are against gay marriage die off.  Every year America polls better on the issue.  I personally think it is very difficult for force this issue and it will happen with time anyways.

  •  I cannot speak for other gays (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeanF, CajunBoyLgb

    However I refuse to, beyond this one post, engage in this diary. Why? Because you have already stated that there are set ground rules of what you will allow and not allow to happen. Of course in any discussion on a topic there is no way to predict where a topic will or will not go. To say "I will not allow X to be discussed" in my view is silly.

    I of course think your wrong that we do need the word "marriage" and I refuse to engage in a debate with you as to why this is true in which terms/limits are placed down as to what is right/wrong as to the substance or style of what is right in what you accept.

    So I would hope that other GLTBQ individuals that read my post also stay away from this diary and post for this same reason.

    Economic Left/Right: 6.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.92

    by BFSkinner on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:46:48 AM PST

    •  the guideline I set were and are reasonable (0+ / 0-)

      I'm here to have a serious discussion, not to be yelled at, not to be called names, and so on.  I'm sorry you feel that's too much to ask but as far as I am concerned all I asked for is what's in the FAQ

      Further it's my diary and just as others in other diaries have pushed aside questions that bog us down and get us no where that's what I did (and only once). I have no desire to go in circles on whether the people I propose to reach out ot are bigots or not. I am a pragmatic person and believe in getting things done, if that means compromising a little so be it and if that means working with people I may not totally agree with but can find common ground, then again so be it.

      I'm sorry you can't or won't agree with that but I'm welcome to my opnion just as you are welcome to yours and frankly I'd ask that you stop acting like yours is better then mine just because it's yours.

    •  Your comment was incomprehensible to me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

      by cjallen on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:05:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this diary is wrong for 3 reasons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CajunBoyLgb, BFSkinner
    1. you tell me what i'm allowed to discuss and what not. Bullshit.
    1. um, hello, the CA supreme court is going to rule on prop 8 in March. It's very likely that in 8 weeks, we'll have gay marriage in California. So even if your argument had merit, your timing is very poorly thought out.
    1. The idea itself, eliminate marriage altogether, gives their worst argument (gay marriage will destroy the institution) legitimacy. You want to mobilize people's least-inclusive reflexes, do what you suggest.


    the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

    by SeanF on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:11:12 PM PST

    •  really? (0+ / 0-)
      1. It's my diary, believe it or not and in many other diaries people state clearly what they are talkign about. Frankly the only thing I said I was not going to talk about was because it's irrevelent to my point.

      Further all I asked for was what's in the FAQ, if that's too much for you then that's on you not me.

      1. Let's say the Surprem Court rules in are favor, let's just say what if, tell me how does that fundmentally change things? More then half of the states still have laws or constitutional bans, the framing of the arguement and there are only 2 states allowing same sex marriage.

      3 Not true at all, marriage isn't destroyed in the slightest all that happens in a word change.

      •  more than a word change (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drache, BFSkinner

        word = symbol = mental reality. You are saying we should change (most) everyone's mental reality. Um, good luck with that.

        How the CA supreme court changes things? It will create a fundamental legal crisis that will have to eventually be resolved in the national supreme court. In other words, the precedent established in CA will go national in a matter of a few years. If we have a year or 2 of gay marriage in CA, it's gonna be really hard for the court to strike it down, imo.

        I will chose to get over your diary restrictions, cuz i think its the tone that annoyed me more than the content.

        the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

        by SeanF on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:26:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  .... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Well I apologize for the tone, perhaps it would help if I gave you the reason why I said what I did? See when this was brought up I had some 'small' probelms with certain members of this community (who are going unnamed because I'd rather not get into again) was insulted, told that I was a bigot, a troll and that I should go back to redstate. Now I suppose at this point you might be ready to say 'grow a thicker skin' and you might be right I have plenty of positions some here don't like and I'm not shy about them. Thing is I'm tired of the insults on this topic, I'm tired of people looking down at me and somehow implying that I am not completely  and totally for equality. It bugs me on a level that is not totatlly rational. And thus when I took up the challenge to write a diary about this, I didn't want a repeat of that because it's emotionally and mentally exhausting after all to just trade insults and go nowhere.

          I apologize if I came across as heavy handed, all I really want is to make people think, to consider alternatives even if they ultimately reject  what I propose to me it is enough that people think about it.

          Now back to the discussion, I can understand what you're saying about words but I guess this runs into the same probelm I had with the other commentor because to me words are just words. I mean there are some that are important to me, but it's not the letters that from up that unique combination that matter. What matters is the meaning. That probably isn't in line with the vast majority of the population and maybe that creates a fundmental flaw in my proposal I don't know for sure. I just wrote what I think would be reasonable to most people, I could be wrong.

          I'd like to think you're right about CA, in fact I'd prefer it but I remain skeptical. People said the same thing about MA and yet nothing happened. Same sex marriage occurs there all the time and yet nothing has changed on the national stage, there's no movement to overturn any of the some 20 consitutional bans (well no movement with enough force to actually make it even a possiblity).

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