Monday, May 17, 2004

Lagniappe: Gay Marriage in MA - Well, I, for one, am disposed to think of extending the joys and grace of marriage to gay couples as nothing but a positive. How can bringing something good to people be a bad thing? I think it is perhaps this small detail that gives pause to the opponents of gay marriage as they make their case. They have to be careful by somehow conveying that their opposition to gay marriage is not in opposition to the basic human dignity of gay people. But this is a tricky position precisely because gay people, and even many heterosexuals, recognize this distinction as nothing more than hollow words. I am happy for gay people who can now marry because if their lives are more fulfilled and happy because if it, then the world is a better place. And we could always use a better world.

But the frenetic, irrational wrangling coming out of the arguments of gay marriage opponents has reached a fevered pitch. Just today, the National Review Online has published a series of articles on the subject. What do we hear? Well, we all know that prior to this date, the big complaint came from those who decried the "activist" judges who supposedly legislated gay marriage from the bench. But, even this is now not enough, and folks are beginning to say it is just as much the legislature's fault as it is the judiciary's. Others are going in the other direction and saying it is ultimately the executive's fault. This merry-go-round of "blame" only affirms to me that we actually have a pretty good political system and balance of powers that works quite well. If you can find blame for the "failure" of government that transcends one particular branch, you've got to recognize that things just don't happen (or do happen) because of the exclusive behavior of one branch.

In my view, this welcome development on gay marriage has been a long time in coming and it has moved peacefully and procedurally through our political, legal, and judicial system. Our system works fine, and we have to trust that it will, warts and all, produce that which is best for and reflective of our democracy and polity.

No comments: