This entry was posted by jbc on Thursday, December 11th, 2008 at 8:06 am and is filed under god, love.
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18 Responses to “Stewart vs. Huckabee on Gay Marriage”
What I don’t get is that the guy had been under investigation by the FBI for three years and still made no bones about trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat, although he evidently realized he was under Federal investigation. That’s crazy.
That’s why love ‘The Daily Show’. It’s hillarious and sometimes downright silly, but when he wants to be serious, Jon Stewart can present progressive points of view very well. Sometimes, surprisingly well.
I realize I’m not going to get much disagreement from the crowd here, but I honestly do not understand the anti-gay marriage apologists, especially the calm, reasonable ones like Huckabee. You can debate religious points endlessly without a conclusion, but seems to be like pure practicality.
One argument is that the definition of marriage has traditionally been a one-man/one-woman one. That is both factually incorrect and also requires that you believe we must set our policies based on ancient tradition. Either you believe in slavery and myriad other atrocities or you can’t use this argument.
Another argument is that marriage is intended to produce children, which gay couples cannot biologically do. This requires you to believe then that infertile couples or those who choose to never have children should not be allowed to marry. Either you support banning marriage for the childless or you can’t use this argument.
And lastly there is the argument that being gay is a choice, and so we should not give special privileges to “unusual” lifestyles (this is the bestiality/polygamy argument). This is absolutely no different than slippery-slope arguments made about inter-racial marriages. Either you believe that inter-racial marriages have started us on the slippery slope to ruin or you can’t use this argument.
But if you lay this argument out for an anti-gay marriage advocate, they will shrug it off. Why? Because at the core, this is a matter of a majority of people deciding that they don’t approve of the behavior of gay people on purely religious grounds and they can get away with limiting their rights because they are in the minority.
It’s a shame that people like Huckabee may never understand that living harmoniously with other people is profoundly more sane than putting them down and then endlessly fighting against their struggles for equality.
It was fascinating to watch Huckabee circle around, moving on to another argument as fast as Stewart could shut it down, and even coming back to old arguments he’d already made two minutes before.
Stewart’s best line, I think, was the “religion is much more of a choice than homosexuality.” That’s a new one, and a great one.
But for some reason, some basic arguments never get made in the “liberal” media:
-When the Supreme Court made interracial marriages legal, 75 percent of Americans disagreed. Was that decision wrong because the majority didn’t support it? Was that “judicial activism”?
-Gay marriage foes always say this is about children. But a civil marriage says nothing about children, love, cohabitation, or “training the next generation,” as Huckabee said. It’s a contract, nothing more or less.
-The distinction between civil and religious marriage. They are quite different beasts, which unfortunately share a name.
-Gay marriage isn’t about “behavior,” sexual or otherwise, because again, civil marriage isn’t about those things.
It’s just frustrating that none of these arguments even matter to the hardcore anti-gay contingent. It’s going to take a generation before these battles are over.
I’ll relate a story that has always stuck with me from that day.
My grandparents had all passed on by the time we were married, but my fiance had two living grandmothers at the time. Her last grandfather, Cap (short for Casper) had recently died after a short battle with cancer. We arranged a civil ceremony amongst the redwoods and friends and family gathered from the far corners of our little world. The ceremony was beautiful and we exchanged vows and rings, her kiss felt like our first (as they often still do).
As we stood in the receiving line, greeting each guest and exchanging a few words with them, the crowd sipped sparkling wine and enjoyed some appetizers. As my wife’s grandmother (now in her 90s! woot!) hobbled up to us, she stopped and before any congratulations said loudly “there was only one thing missing!” Tears welled and our hearts swelled with co-mingled sorrow and joy. “we miss him to. how we wish Cap were here!” “NO. God was missing” and she hobbled off without so much as a smile, kiss, handshake or congratulations.
Religious people say that they follow the book of peace, the son of heaven, the Right Way, but all too often seem to be the worst bigots, the biggest zealots, the most intolerant people imaginable.
Enkidu’s story reminds me of the ad running locally here where the pastor has what amounts to an HR exit interview with Santa Claus, then tosses him a Bible and shows him the door. I’m sure Bill O had an orgasm watching that ad.
What is rarely seen in this debate are the full reasons for allowing gay marriage. The explanation always seems to end at “equal rights”. That’s fine, and that should be sufficient, and to me it is.
However, a long time ago I heard someone describe the full implications of “equal rights” for gay partners compared to straight partners, and it was very persuasive. Of the numerous points raised I only recall the highlights of three (1) officially state sponsored gay marriage would be huge social boost to counter widespread and insipid discrimination, (2) all government programs, services and protections that are available to straight spouses would apply, (3) survivor benefits of pension plans and life insurance would apply, providing gay partners of dead spouses with the financial security available to other spouses.
It just seems strange that Huckabee gets to voice his reasons for objecting, and the debate is framed on the legitimacy (or not) of those points to the exclusion of a discussion about the full meanings of equal rights.