Thursday, February 19, 2004

Same-sex marriage debate

Oklahoma is certainly not the epicenter of such social debates as same-sex marriage (Deo gratias!), however there was a small demonstration held on Tuesday at the State Capitol. The newspaper reports about 400 people gathered on the south steps of the Capitol to protest same-sex marriage and to support local legislation defining marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. At the same time, across the street, the paper reports about 200 people gathered supporting same-sex marriage. Now, I wasn't there (as my pastoral assignment has me stationed, oh, a mere 265 miles away -- and, yes, that is still the same diocese!) and I don't need to tell you which side of the street I would have been on had I been present, but the brief story on the evening news left me curious. As the news camera panned the group supporting same-sex marriage, same-sex couples could be seen kissing in what was clearly orchestrated to make a show for passersby in cars and for the TV viewing public. Now wouldn't such a spectacle ordinarily be called exhibitionism? I mean, all valid moral argumentation aside for the moment, is average Joe Citizen really supposed to see such displays and think, "You know, these same-sex couples are really on to something. They make mature displays in public of their mutual love just like the rest of us heterosexuals do. Why shouldn't their love too be institutionalized as marriage?" And to top it off, after one pro-same-sex marriage speaker proclaimed via megaphone that the Constitution of the State shouldn't be used to legislate discrimination, the song "We Are Family" began playing. I mean the same could have taken place at a Gay Club. Am I really supposed to take any of this seriously? And sadly, what I have just described passes as solid intellectual, if not philosophical, argumentation in our society! I suppose I should stop watching the news and spend more time exercising at the YMCA!

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