This is the third in a series of rants I introduced in my blog post of May 19th (Change!). You might want to check out my introduction to the first rant to see where this one came from.
This rant is in response to one of the previous posters to the Yahoo! group stating that by "different" s/he didn't mean inferior. S/he provided a number of examples of "different" but not superior or inferior kinds of marriage. (See Rant#1: Change!)
What I think you may be saying here is that by "different" you don't mean "less than." If your idea of marriage includes all those other ways of being "different," then why exclude only the same-sex "difference" from marriage?
Gay and lesbian people have been free to engage in sexual relationships without fear of government intrusion since the Supreme Court decision of Lawrence v Texas in 2003, overturning the 1986 decision in Bowers v Hardwick, which affirmed the government's right to criminalize same-sex sexual behavior. The freedom to have (consensual) sex with the partner of one's choice has been ours for almost ten years now. What we don't have is the right to form a family that will be recognized by our government and respected by society.
I believe that "society" doesn't care about what rights our government grants us, hence the popularity of the civil-union alternative. I believe the real issue behind the opposition to marriage equality is the issue of respect. Phyllis Schlafly went right to the heart of the matter when she said, "Nobody's stopping them from shacking up. The problem is they are trying to make us respect them."
I disapprove of many things that my fellow Americans are free to do. I believe, to take an incendiary example, that raising a child to follow the religion of his or her parents is an infringement on that child's freedom of thought, but I acknowledge AND I RESPECT the right of parents to raise their children as they see fit (with proper disclaimers re: child abuse, etc.) I have opinions, but other people have rights, and I respect those rights. It is fundamentally unfair that my rights are curtailed by other people's opinions.
Catherine M Wilson