Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Now Pronounce You Partner and Partner

As we all patiently wait for Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper to lose the suffix, my thoughts turn inevitably to the contentious same-sex marriage issue. I think everyone would like this to be settled once and for all, but I don't think it is ever going to happen. Both sides feel much too strongly about it. Any initative from Parliament is unlikely to resolve the disparity.

Social Conservatives were led to believe that Stephen Harper would rescind Bill C-38, but Deputy Conservative Leader Peter MacKay said recently on CTV's Question Period, that "It's not going to be brought back as a legislative initiative to strike down same-sex marriage. It would be brought back to decide whether Parliament wanted to go down that road."

More agitation. More marches. More anger. If openly-gay Liberal M.P. Scott Brison is appointed interim party leader, we can look forward to him advocating for his own "rights" as well as those of the LGBT community. (Sounds like a deli sandwich, doesn't it?)

Here are my thoughts - We first have to distinguish between issues of rights and social issues. I have yet to hear anyone present a solid case to me that this is a "rights" issue. I hear a lot of rhetoric, but nothing substantive. Let's address this first.

If gay "marriage" can be proven to be a right, then we need to deal with it accordingly and ensure that all benefits and entitlements are granted equally. If it is not a right, then we are looking at a social issue, and I personally feel that this should be resolved by a referendum.

Finally, even if we end up proving that gay marriage is a right in Canada, people of various faiths and religious beliefs will still never give up the fight.

Therefore, I think the Canadian government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Let's just have "civil unions" for everyone, performed at an accredited municipal location, and devoid of any religious context. Then, anyone wishing a more traditional and religious ceremony could have that arranged afterwards at the church of their choice. It would be a two-step process, but it would take the word "marriage" out of the hands of the government, and give it back to the individual and God.

I welcome any thoughts and comments on this. My feelings will not be hurt if you disagree!


Vega Vanillia said...

i can't comment 'couse i don't know people from your post 'cause i'm from croatia.i'll do that other time! ;)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hi Vega Vanillia! Wow, Croatia!! How did you find my blog?

Mary said...

As usual you have found a way through this maze. I am with you 100 percent.

Joe B said...

Hi Joanne,

I agree with your analysis (the definition of marriage is a sociological issue, not a rights issue) but, unfortunately, I have to disagree with your conclusion.

For government to "get out of the marriage business" as you suggest is actually to capitulation completely to the radical gay activist agenda. It does not matter whether or not we call it "marriage" or "civil union". What matters are the rights and benefits that the government grants to those unions that it recognizes. If any two people in government-sanctioned "civil union" are granted tax benefits, adoption rights, child custody benefits and marital property rights, then that is exactly the same (from a sociological perspective) as calling them "married".

The very reason that government is "in the business of marriage" conferring special benefits to married couples and families is to encourage a particular form of social organization that maximizes personal and societal well-being. By restricting the definition of marriage to monogamous, heterosexual couples, the government is encouraging this arrangement as the normative ideal for family structure.

Strong, stable families are the most important institution of a prosperous, free and democratic society. As goes the family, so goes the nation (eventually). Lifetime, monogamous, heterosexual marriage is the social arrangement that maximizes the health and strength of the family, conferring untold benefits to society as a whole in the form of stable, well-adjusted and responsible citizens.

In a pluralistic society, we can and must tolerate other sexual and social arrangements. However, that does not mean that we need to encourage those arrangements. As the trustees of our civilization, the government must have the foresight to defend the principals and institutions that are responsible for the freedom and prosperity which we currently enjoy. Therefore. we must continue to vigorously defend traditional marriage as the normative ideal for family life.

-Joe B

Gerry said...

Hi Joanne,

I agree. The Brit's got it right. They refused to even allow Marriage to be discussed as an option, and would only allow the Courts to rule on Civil Union. This allows the Church to divorce itself from the issue and at the same time gives the same-sex partners equal rights as far as benefits and other issues are concerned. Our Government goofed big time by allowing the sacredness of true Marriage to be part of this discussion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Gerry, Joe and Mary for your comments. Wow, this is certainly showing a wide range of opinion; even within a fairly socially conservative framework!

Joe, I agree with you on the idealism of your viewpoint. I just don't see how a compromise will ever be reached, given that perspective. But I guess you don't see compromise as an option, and I have to admit that I really have a problem with children being adopted by gay couples. I agree that it is not in the best interest of the child. You make a very eloquent argument for monogamous, heterosexual marriage, BTW.

Gerry mentioned the British solution, and Elton John seems quite happy with it. But that's not good enough for Canadian gays, it would seem.

The very first thing to do is to determine whether or not it is an issue of rights or social/moral values. Does anyone have proof of either side?