So I'm watching the democratic debate this evening, and I've been thinking over where exactly I stand on the various issues. How would I answer those questions, when faced with the piercing blue eyes of Wolf Blitzer? And so it came to me: in an effort to find the candidate who aligns most closely with my own personal politics, I'm going to write about a different issue each week, then try to figure out which candidate falls nearest to my position. This week? Teh Gays!
Tonight, Wolf asked: what about civil unions? Gay marriage? What should we do?
IMHO, a civil marriage ceremony* - the kind you get at City Hall, or in Las Vegas - should be the prerogative of every American citizen. Any two people desiring to get married, whether of different faiths, different races, or same sexes, should be allowed to sign a paper before a judge committing to sharing lives and financial resources (and everything in between). Why?
Because, as everyone knows, the judge says, to legalize the marriage, "by the power vested in me by the STATE..., I now pronounce you legally married" or some such formula. The point is, the power to form this union is granted to the State, not to the Church(es). The State does not have the opportunity to discriminate in housing, employment, health care, etc. on ANY basis. Why should they have the power to discriminate in this area?
But. If you want to get married in a church (temple, mosque, synagogue, pagoda, etc.) by a representative of a particular faith (any faith), then it's perfectly fine to expect you to meet the requirements of that institution, whatever they are. For example, a rabbi wouldn't marry a Jew to a non-Jew (usually). A priest wouldn't marry two women. That's fine by me. That's totally within their rights as a private, voluntary organization. They can decide who they marry, who they take as members, what they require of their members. Totally kosher.
So - married at City Hall? Anyone - gay or straight - should be allowed in. Married in a house of worship? You have to do what they say. And the candidate who seems to fall most closely in line with that (for the moment)? Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. Will he ever get nominated? Hell no. But for this particular issue, he's my guy.
*I'm equating this with the term "civil union" here, since technically that's what hetero couples at City Hall get, too. "Union" is the domain of the State. "Marriage" is the domain of the Church(es).