Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gay Marriage - A "Yes" Vote

Frank Bruni discusses gay marriage in his op-ed column in today's New York Times.  The column elucidates, for the 'nth' time at least, how homosexuality is not an acquired choice.  Gays were not raised by gay parents.  (As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that the vast majority of children raised by gay parents are not gay!) I have no memory of my parents influencing me towards a heterosexual life - I just remember becoming fascinated and excited by the female sex in about the sixth grade.   Gays were not created by gay teachers, nor by plays, books, TV shows, etc. having gay themes.

There  are no logical arguments against gay marriage; the only "arguments" are the emotional ones - arguments, which by definition, have no basis in fact.

As a matter of fact, considering how poorly heterosexual marriages have fared over recent years, not only in brevity and individual frequency, but in resultant child abuse, alcoholism, absent parents and more, gay marriage could certainly do no worse (and maybe do better - who knows?)

Gay rights to normal interpersonal relationships and unions are not contestable.  To define marriage as a  legal right restricted to "a man and a woman" is clearly wrong.  That is not to argue that religious institutions cannot define whom they would consider "married" or "marriageable."  But when it comes to such institutions extending  federal and local benefits and other such legal rights to those in their employ, they must be obligated to comply with the law.  An employer who has a religious objection to gay marriage cannot use this as a rationale to refuse employment to a legally married gay.  If he feels strongly that hiring such an individual would be a "sin against God" (or whatever), he must either employ the individual ( commit the sin, in this case) or take steps to give up his business so that no further such sin would need consideration.

But there are some limits.  Criticism by gays has been levelled against those who believe that original birth certificates should not be altered.  They have insisted, to the best of my knowledge, that original birth certificates carry only the names of the legal gay parents.  I sincerely believe that "original" birth certificates are legal documents that must list the mother (always known)* and the father (if known)*  This does not mean that I do not approve of "altered", or secondary (my term) birth certificates that indicate the legal parents, adoptive or otherwise.  The "original" may be sealed, if a court so insists - but must be available somewhere.  An adopted child, or the child of same-sex parents, has the right, and should have access to this "original" document.

Gay marriage should be a legal right.  How one may feel about its morality is an individual decision, as is the morality of pre-marital sex, or protected sex, or even no sex at all.  I doubt that many would care to render these latter sexual practices (or non-practice) as illegal!

The proper recording and maintenance of a document of birth, however, should not be interfered with.

*In the cases of surrogacy, the state will legislate "motherhood" as either the birth mother, or the genetic mother.  In cases of an unknown sperm-donor father, it should be so designated -  his name to be on record at the sperm bank where donated.

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