Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prop 8 - Gay/Lesbian Marriage - Interesting Perspective

Today I listened to the end of a discussion about California's Proposition 8 - Court Decision and related issues with a panel on National Public Radio. I found the perspectives interesting.

Panelist 1: was a man who most recently lead a protest in North Carolina against Gay/Lesbian marriage.

Panelist 2: was a man representing a Catholic organization who was also opposed to Gay/Lesbian marriage.

Panelist 3: was a Gay man, married to another man, who clearly supported the general issue of Gay/Lesbian marriage.

Panelist 4: was a woman who strongly supported Gay/Lesbian marriage (she was only on the air once briefly so I understood less about her).

Panelist 1 - focused upon the importance of acting politically and publicly against Gay/Lesbian marriage. He seemed to focus largely on the need for organizing and stressing how the issue could be resolved with political action including if necessary an amendment to the constitution limiting marriages between women and men.

Panelist 2 - focused significantly upon his point that Gay-Lesbian marriage made sense where one focused upon equality for adults, but that it did not make sense in terms of equality concerning the rights of children (and adults). He mentioned a situation in Massachusetts where a church organization could not legally have an adoption agency, because they would Not allow Gay/Lesbian adoptions as a logical consequence of such "equality". Much of his focus stressed upon how one either needed to have marriage limited to men with women or have it open to all; e.g. that there is no middle ground. He seemed much less homophobic than Panelist 1, but his perspective was clearly defined by the Catholic Church's restrictions and laws.

Panelist 3 - talked both positively and negatively about Proposition 8. He was clear that on an ethical/moral level was strongly supportive. He was negative in that he thought that the decision was so immediate and radical that it could well bring a backlash which might end up restricting or ending his (and others) rights as Gay/Lesbian couples.

He indicated that California had domestic partner legislation and that it wasn't necessary for the changes to happen so fast and so directly. He thought that if things went slower, there was no reason why things shouldn't work out for the best for all. He was interesting in his cautiousness, not being "conservative" in any manner, but being concerned "politically".

This man talked of how many people had forgotten when in 1974 there was a split between President Gerald Ford and Governor (and future President) Ronald Reagan related to abortion rights. Ford indicated his support for individual states controlling the rights or lack thereof to abortions. Reagan wanted a constitutional amendment banning abortions. He seemed concerned that if things were handled in a manner which was too ahead of the times for the people with marital rights, that it could lead to actions that were more restrictive in the long-run.

At the end of the discussion he challenged panelists 1 and 2 to indicate how Gay/Lesbian marriage would in any way weaken heterosexual marriages. He talked of how marriages were a logical effective way for both heterosexual and non-het couples to raise children together. Panelists 1 and 2 in my mind couldn't answer the questions in a "logical" way.

Panelist 4 - talked of how the recent court decision was just and correct.

I found that this panel reflected some of the divides and issues that will be faced as Prop 8 heads to higher court levels as well as faces other challenges in the coming months and years. Panelist 3 was quite interesting and insightful! I hope that things will work out for the best!

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