Editors note: This is the third and final guest column in this series of columns (Part I is here, Part II is here) about same sex marriage. The author, Doug Mainwaring, is a principled conservative residing in Montgomery County, MD who is gay. He is a cofounder of National Capital Tea Party Patriots and his commentaries regarding the Tea Party movement and conservative issues have appeared in The Washington Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Wall Street Journal, American Thinker and others.
Over the last few weeks Doug testified in Annapolis before the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee and the House of Delegates Joint Committee (Judiciary and Government Operations) Hearing in opposition to same sex marriage, and spent many days lobbying individual legislators as well.
The big question which this series seeks to answer is: “Who is really behind the push for same sex marriage and what is their motivation?” The answer may surprise you.
Here is a link to a recording of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s testimony and Doug’s opposing testimony before the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee on January 31 regarding the Same Sex Marriage legislation. (The Governor speaks during the first two minutes or so then Doug for the final 2 minutes — just click on “in this podcast”).
Same sex marriage is neither inevitable nor optimal
Same sex marriage is not inevitable, yet this is the repeated declaration of lobbyists and activists to Maryland legislators. An appeal is made to “fairness” — a completely irresistible argument on its surface. However, this is not a superficial issue to be treated lightly or without careful thought and investigation. This is a decision to be made by our legislators in fear and trembling.
Many citizens of Maryland who are not in agreement with changing the definition of marriage remain silent. It is the objective of statists to make people afraid to voice their opposition. In some ways, this tactic has worked. Political correctness has proven to be a tool of tyranny, silencing voices of reason. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” (attributed to Edmund Burke). Political correctness is a stratagem, a tactical maneuver by Liberals to force those with whom they disagree to keep their mouths taped shut and their seatbelts on.
We are told constantly through the media that opposition to same-sex marriage emanates from fear and hatred. While this may sometimes be the case, is it impossible to consider that some opposing positions might stem from reasoned, principled objections? Just because we don’t like the conclusion that others might reach doesn’t mean that their objections are illegitimate or evil.
Equality Maryland is a leading force behind Maryland’s same sex marriage legislation. Yet the name, “Equality Maryland,” is a misnomer. Calling two unequal things “equal” doesn’t make them equal. This is merely a disingenuous device to easily win public favor. Two men or two women are not the same as one man and one woman.
This is the same strategy that was employed in the naming of the “Human Rights Campaign” (HRC), a Washington DC based lobbying firm. Its name makes it sound as if it is a very broad organization championing rights for all humanity. The name is misleading: The organization has only a very narrow mission to advocate for LGBT rights. It’s actually a brilliant ruse: Who wants to go on record taking a stand against human rights?
Likewise, who wants to risk sounding as if they object to equality in Maryland? Yet “Equality Maryland” is not about equality. It’s about pushing boundaries as far they can go. While this organization purports to represent all gays in Maryland, it only represents some gays. In actuality it is a political organization — a vehicle for advancing progressive ideology. The fact that it has taken up the issue of same sex marriage is incidental to its true purpose.
Let’s face it, within our society committed relationships between two men or two women are a “new thing,” which we should not attempt to force into an old construct that was never meant for same sex partnerships. We should welcome the opportunity to christen a new tradition, beginning a new chapter in the history of gays and lesbians within American society. Same-sex relationships are different from heterosexual relationships and gays need to accept that and design their own tradition.
“Justice and simple decency require that same-sex couples be afforded the same legal protections and benefits of marriage that are now, with a few exceptions, reserved for heterosexual couples . . . But the group (Equality Maryland) and its lawmaker allies are shortsighted to refuse to consider — let alone accept — anything short of full marriage equality . . . Lawmakers who back this provision should at least consider whether domestic partnerships or civil unions might stand a better chance of passage.”
Same sex marriage is not optimal. Certainly, gay relationships need to be supported, respected and held in esteem by society.
And in our complex modern society, this involves government recognition. But to propose that gay unions are precisely equivalent to marriage by heterosexuals is beyond the pale. The two are apples and oranges. The expectation of fully equal rights with regard to Marriage stretches the limits of reason. The expectation of fully equal treatment with regard to respect, dignity, and a protection of couples rights is rational and judicious.
The nation is being trained to view “Civil Unions” as a lesser concept; a moral and philosophical back seat to marriage. The term “Civil Union” lacks the sense of history and tradition that “marriage” instantly conjures up in our minds, but this is true precisely because marriage has a long history and elaborate tradition and gay relationships don’t. This is new territory for gays and for society in general.
Instead of coveting marriage, gays need to break new ground, defining their own tradition.
A Washington Post Editorial published January 21, 2010 suggested the following:
“Justice and simple decency require that same-sex
couples be afforded the same legal protections and benefits
of marriage that are now, with a few exceptions, reserved for
heterosexual couples . . . But the group (Equality Maryland)
and its lawmaker allies are shortsighted to refuse to consider –
let alone accept — anything short of full marriage equality . . .
Lawmakers who back this provision should at least consider
whether domestic partnerships or civil unions might stand a
better chance of passage.”
Civil Unions should not be viewed either as second class treatment or as a stepping stone to marriage. Civil Unions should be the goal.
It is in everyone’s best interest to have marriages and the families they produce be the strongest they can be, and likewise, for gay and lesbian couples and the families they form to be as strong as they can be as well, more than anything, for the sake of all our children.
The mere act of dividing marriage into traditional marriage and gay marriage during discourse is to endorse its plausibility. “Gay marriage” is essentially oxymoronic, yet it is a term which has been easily injected into the national discussion. Refraining from the use of multiple marriage terms alone would be a giant step toward restoring intellectual clarity to the debate.
Marriage is an immutable concept. Like it or not, from age to age marriage has been humanity’s greatest success, crossing all cultures and religions.
It is not the gay and lesbian community which initiated the quest for same sex marriage: It is this nation’s proponents of extreme liberalism who have seized this issue as a means to transform society according to their statist dreams. Libertarians and those who lean in that direction who are sympathetic to this cause are accidentally falling prey to a more government, less freedom trap.
The common belief we Americans hold regarding freedom, liberty and justice is wonderful. We innately and emphatically assert that no one should ever be denied freedom of choice. In our day, prejudice against gays is just a faint shadow of what it once was. However, the abolition of prejudice against gays does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that same sex marriage is inevitable or optimal. There are other avenues available, none of which demands immediate sweeping transformational legislation or court judgments.
From the editor: Surely by now everyone knows that same-sex marriage has passed the Senate and is on the way to the Governor’s desk for the inevitable signature. Thanks to Doug for helping us better understand who drives the homosexual political agenda and why.
If you wish to be involved in the Petition to referendum process, visit MDPetitions.com and sign up to help bring this issue directly before the voters in November.