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Gay marriage

Well, the Episcopal church has confirmed their first openly gay bishop. I believe we're witnessing something of a snowball. Could it be that the gay rights movement has finally reached critical mass?</p>

I'm concerned about the push for gay marriage. I listened to a excellent "Talk of the Nation" on NPR a few weeks ago that was approaching the issue from an interesting vantage point: what about straight people that don't considering marriage an institution they are interested in? There were three special guests: one history buff, a person advocating for stricter marriage laws (including the prohibition of gay marriage) and a third fascinating woman advocating for the dissolution of the State's involvement in the institution of marriage altogether.

The majority of the callers were providing anecdotes to the change in the societal value of marriage. Many brought with them stories of failed marriages that were prolonged my the legal mess that it required to undo a marriage. Others found that they saw no need to further complicate their relationships with the complexities of a protestant practice endorsed and ladened with the State.

What particularly interested me was the third expert's push for the abolishment of the State's involvement in marriage. She immediately dismissed what some would claim as the abandonment of children. She claimed: the State has already clearly separated the institution of marriage from the responsibility for raising children. The reality is that the majority of children come from divorced families.

The reasoning behind such a "hands off" approach to this institution? Expert three: When the State says a man and a woman or a man and a man in a sexual, conjugal relationship have certain rights, it is to belittle all of the other significant adult relationships that exist in our society.

By this she means, we humans more often than not form closely bonded relationships with our friends and family members that aren't sexual. These relationships are as important to the health of our society as any others -- so why shouldn't I be able to take time off work to take care of my ill brother? Or be able to see my best friend in the hospital?

Some interesting thoughts, indeed. It will be fascinating to see where this goes. Should I support gay marriage?

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jasondclinton
Jason D. Clinton

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