Thursday, June 26, 2014
Driving the train from the caboose
In a rare foray (for this space) into politics, here are my unsolicited thoughts on the (for now) legalization of gay marriage in Indiana:
· In general, I’m for it. Allowing people to codify their life partnerships ultimately leads to more stability and a better society in which to raise children, and for adults to live in.
· The definition of “family” is rapidly changing in our country, and it’s important to recognize the legitimacy of non-traditional arrangements.
· That said, I intensely dislike having this issue decided by a single unelected judge. I disagree that marriage is a “fundamental right” along with voting, ownership of property, etc.
· Marriage is a societal construction, and one that until very recently in human history flowed almost entirely from religious imperatives. Indeed, marriage is a central tenet of most major religions.
· Governments codify those relationships; they are not the wellspring of the institution. Using the legal apparatus to effect social change strikes me as trying to drive the train from the caboose.
· To wit: Gay marriage will never have the veneer of true legitimacy until it is authorized through the democratic process -- a voter referendum, or the actions of a representational legislation. Even a Supreme Court decision is unlikely to end debate -- look at Roe v. Wade.
· If they held a voter referendum in Indiana for gay marriage, I would vote for it – provided it included protections for religious values (e.g., priests or institutions would not be forced to conduct/host ceremonies that violate their beliefs, etc.).
· I have been incredibly disappointed in the way some local journalists have covered the story, particularly on social media. To those offenders I would say: Any pretense of objectivity has simply gone out the door. Setting aside the commentariat (those paid to express opinions), people covering the news should, at the very least, refrain from expressing their excitement while the process of reportage is ongoing. There has been a wave of unabashed cheerleading, and it does not reflect well on you or our profession. Even though I largely agree with this outcome, your conduct has been unprofessional and downright shameful.