March 11, 2009

Washington Moves In The Right Direction

As I've previously argued, given that it seems that voters even here in very-liberal California are not yet quite ready to accept the idea of same-sex marriage, those same-sex couples who want to be married and those of us who think they should have that right, will need to settle for the next-best thing for the time being.

That next-best thing is domestic partnerships or civil unions which provide all of the same legal benefits as marriage. My theory, as dedicated Readers will recall, is that voters will realize that their lives have not been impacted one iota by virtue of same-sex couples having these institutions and come to realize, over time, that letting people of the same sex get married is truly harmless. A period of reality and marriage-in-fact-if-not-in-name will, I think, help to reduce the impact of the hysteria exploited by the movement to restrict marriage rights.

California has come pretty close for some time, as have a few other states. Now, it appears that the state of Washington is going to take it all the way. I commend the legislators of Washington for taking this step. Also, I'll give praise where it's due -- the evangelical Christian and "pro-family" political groups are arguing, consistently with their arguments in the Prop. 8 fight here in California, that domestic partnerships are acceptable so long as they aren't called "marriage." It's nice to see them sticking to the same stance they used in California and saying, "Sure, gay people are entitled to equal rights, and since they aren't trying to use a word that has a particular social meaning, we can get behind this." I'm pleased to see the mature, calm leaders of the Christian political movement committing to a reasonable compromise between their deeply-held moral beliefs and the civil rights of other people.

No, no, no. I'm just kidding. In reality, they're throwing a panicked hissy-fit and acting as if Western civilization is about to collapse into a soul-crushing wave of sodomy:
"This is the last incremental step before they ... try to attach the name 'marriage' to what is now called domestic partnership," said Gary Randall, head of the Faith and Freedom Network, which opposes the measure. ... Randall and Larry Stickney, president of Washington Values Alliance, said if the measure passes, they plan to ask voters to reverse it. "We're fighting with a great sense of urgency," Stickney said. "In light of the California Supreme Court decision, it inspired us that if we didn't fight, it's lost. We feel backed into a corner."
Right. To date, a total 5,111 couples have registered as domestic partners in Washington. So we're talking about upwards of ten thousand people, a figure approaching .16% of the total population of the Evergreen State!

This, of course, reveals the basic truth about opposition to same-sex marriage, or in this case, anything that resembles it: social conservatives do not want any kind of gay relationship to be afforded any kind of legitimacy whatsoever; anything from a casual flirtation to a lifelong relationship must be condemned, because otherwise, the culture warrior's irrational prejudice against homosexuals cannot be justified. Intellectual or ideological consistency is unimportant. What's important is putting those homosexuals back in the closet where they belong and making damn sure that their kind of love dare not speak its name ever again.

Here, then, are a group of political activists who know how to prioritize.

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