For Better, For Worse

Living as I do in Minnesota where a referendum item regarding “same-sex marriage” on this year’s ballot has drawn considerable discussion and a great deal of wasted money on TV ads pro and con, I was interested that a New York appeals court declared a similar law in that state unconstitutional. As a Yahoo News story tells us:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An appeals court in New York ruled on Thursday that a law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. It was the second federal appeals court to reject the law, which could go before the Supreme Court soon.

New York is the third state to rule the law unconstitutional and it is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue soon, since these cases involve the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 and the federal government at present does not recognize same-sex marriages. That should be interesting, though the verdict is predictable. But as a philosopher the entire issue strikes me as puzzling in the extreme. Same-sex marriages are “victimless crimes,” though I would not call them crimes at all. Why do we need laws prohibiting acts that do not involve harm to others? It reeks of paternalism. No one is getting hurt: on the contrary. These marriages are merely found to be offensive by the homophobes among us and those people should simply be told to shut up and find something to keep them busy.

In any event, the people most intimately involved are together because they love one another and that is supposed to be the cornerstone of the religion that harbors the greatest number of critics of same-sex marriage. The inconsistency is glaring. But consistency is the hobgoblin of tiny minds, as Emerson said. So we can take comfort in the fact that the critics of same-sex marriage are simply much smarter than the rest of us who embrace the laws of contradiction and seek to make sure our thinking is consistent and coherent. Right. (I never did agree with Emerson.) Of course in cases such as this there is very little thought of any kind involved, mostly just feelings — strong, often incoherent, feelings.

Seriously, folks, where’s the moral issue here? There is none. And why are states and the federal government wasting precious time and money on a non-issue when there are serious problems to be solved — or at least addressed? People are walking around with semi-automatic weapons in their pockets; the planet is under siege; and the economy is in the toilet while these overpaid politicians waste time discussing whether men should marry men or women marry women. This waste of time and money is the problem, not the pseudo-issue of whether persons who love one another should marry. It’s time to turn to problems that demand solutions and away from trivial issues that don’t deserve serious attention.

12 thoughts on “For Better, For Worse

  1. Now Hugh, “there you go again,” using common sense, logic and rational thought in an irrational world. You know that’s not looked upon kindly these days.

    And to your last suggestion, have you lost your political mind? As long as the politicians consume all their time in discussing non-issues and whether a woman can get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” or if there is any such thing as a mother’s life being in danger while pregnant these days (Congressman Walsh), or what the bible tells us to do, or whether we are a christian nation or not, then they don’t have to spend time actually doing their jobs. They don’t have to take a position on the economy, taxes, our military waste, voting rights for everyone, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the future of the middle class, poverty, lack of education and jobs, or anything to do with preserving democracy.

    Really Hugh, we can’t be upsetting the delicate dance of life as defined in Congress and state legislatures.

  2. I couldn’t agree more!! with everything but especially this: “those people should simply be told to shut up and find something to keep them busy.”

  3. Excellent post. There are far more critical things we should be talking about and to all those who are impacted, this falls in the category of the right thing to do. If we keep erring on the side of the right thing to do, we will be in a better place. This is not an issue for the younger generation, so it will self correct, if not corrected now. That makes it even more a waste of time. Well done, BTG

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