Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Defending DOMA (For Fame And Fortune)

In the constant chase for headlines
Given fast-approaching deadlines
Politicians fight each other for the top spot on the news
In this rough-and-tumble scrimmage
As they fight to hone their image
Some conservatives may think they've found an issue they can use

It's that goddamn gay agenda
The republicans expend a
Lot of energy in fighting, as they pander to their base
If a legal stance looks funny
Often, following the money
Shows the underlying logic (as, of course, the present case)

In this mess, if you're litigious
Then you're probably religious
And it's blasphemous that marriage should be offered up to gays
And republicans get boners
Over big financial donors
(If the dollars were sufficient, why, I'm sure they'd swing both ways)

It's a match that's made in heaven
For Two Thousand and Eleven
As the campaign is upon us and we're choosing sides, of course
Let the Democrats disparage
Us, we're standing up for marriage!
It's a sacred institution... like Republican divorce!

NPR's Morning Edition reports on the political posturing surrounding the Obama administration's decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Conservative Republicans are on the wrong side of history here, but it looks like they are hoping they are on the right side of their own base. I've argued over marriage issues for years, and have never yet found an objection to same-sex marriage that did not boil down to a religious view. From my perspective, then, it comes down to a First Amendment issue: if the government takes a stand opposing same-sex marriage, it favors one religious view over others.

It's not a matter of what is good for the children. My lesbian neighbors have raised a fine son, despite not being recognized as a real family; real concern for the well-being of children would lead to support for gay families. It's not that marriage is designed to promote procreation; my sister-in-law is hoping for her third childless marriage. Since she is heterosexual, no one has a problem with that--least of all, the Republican front-runners, who [at least as of last month] sport more ex-wives than candidates.

It's not even freedom of religion. There are a good many churches that recognize, welcome, and celebrate same-sex marriages. These conservative Republicans would want these churches overruled.

No, it's money. There is money to be had by fighting on the wrong side of this battle. If that money can keep a handful of politicians in the headlines for a bit longer, they can keep the positions of power they hold. When they eventually are swept aside, that same money will be available for speeches and appearances. Ex-senators and ex-representatives will make more for one speech than I do in a year, railing against the moral decline of civilization.

Meh. I'll take that, if I can go to my neighbors' wedding.


Die Anyway said...

My recommended solution has been to get government out of the "marriage" business. Marriage should be a religious rite like baptism or Bar Mitzvah. You do it through your religion and it only holds sway within your church. It does not provide any tax breaks, legal rights, or any other government benefit. All churches can define their own rituals and allow or disallow whomever they please. Bazinga! Now government doesn't have to defend, deny or in any way deal with "marriage".
Then, if two (or more) people want to share income, property and expenses, or grant rights of decision, visitation, inheritance, etc. there should be a range of civil contracts that they can choose from.
It seems so simple.

Kevin said...

"I've argued over marriage issues for years, and have never yet found an objection to same-sex marriage that did not boil down to a religious view."

I have a friend that's an atheist and she says that marriage is about children, and since gay people can't have natural children they shouldn't get married. (She refuses to marry herself despite being with the same man for 15 years because she's not interested in having kids).

I've tried talking about infertile heterosexual couples, or older couples (she doesn't think they should marry either), or about the possibility of adoption... nothing gets through. She's totally socially progressive on most issues, and doesn't seem to have any problems with gay people themselves, just a really weird conception of marriage. Anyway, I'm sure this is a rare case, but I thought you'd be interested.

Cuttlefish said...

Thanks, Kevin--that's certainly a first for me!

The Ridger, FCD said...

Why is the Right not standing up for state's rights here? Married couples in Massachusetts, Ohio, DC, and other places cannot file income taxes as married couples or even get their passports to match their legally issued state ids.

One Brow said...

Thank you for your continuing wit and wisdom. I've enjoyed it so much I have put you on my blogroll.

Melissa said...

I actually enjoy my childless marriage and the legal protections it provides. My hubby and I have control over what happens to one another in the event of accident or illness. Neither one of us could be turned away by in-laws, and that gives us peace of mind. So, I'm all for marriage (secular, of course). For every-frackin-body. Consenting adults deserve to be treated as such.

entropy said...

To defend the indefensible
Good grief, is reprehensible
The defenders' problem, we can relate:
It's that their minds are full of hate.