The Gay Marriage Compromise

An activist judge in California overturned Prop. 8 (banning gay marriage) yesterday to no one’s surprise. Most everyone actively involved on both sides of this issue, can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

Reasonable people can compromise. But there doesn’t seem to be any reasonable people in charge on this issue.

Here’s newsflash for many. No conservative I know of gives one whit whether two men or two women pick out plate patterns at Macys, and stand before their loved ones and commit to each other. They not only don’t care, but are for the right of anyone to choose who gets their benefits, or makes decisions for them if they can’t make them themselves.

As the great Texas philosopher, Kinky Friedman once said, “Gays have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us.”

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So what’s the problem? The problem is one word….marriage.

I can promise you that if Prop 8 were voted on tomorrow, and the exact same language was used, but instead the word “marriage” was replaced with the words “civil unions,” it would pass. And most everyone would be fine it. As some other guy, not as well known as Kinky once said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”

As long as Churches are not forced to perform marriages or unions they believe are invalid or wrong (be they gay, divorced, or otherwise) , I don’t think you would have much dispute. And since there are plenty of Churches that would gladly “marry” gays, there really is no problem at all. It’s all in the name. Simply call gay marriage a civil union. Those that see marriage as sacred would feel better, and gays who simply want the same rights as married heterosexuals, would have them.

Every person I talk to, liberal or conservative, seem to have no problem with this compromise. Call gay marriage a civil union. Yet there is no move toward this compromise. Why? Because leaders and activists on both sides simply want what they want, and will not budge. While most of us out here in the real world, both gay and straight, are just fine with the compromise.

I believe that one can put 5 random people in a room and they can come to a compromise on any issue. Because most people are reasonable. This is probably one of the most contentious issues of our time, and there is a compromise standing right in front of us. The activists just refuse to let it happen.

So the dispute continues. The fight goes on. And no one wins.

For those of you of religious faith that see this as a failure or giving up, know that we as a society of faith, gave up a long time ago fighting for what we believed. A 50% divorce rate, porn, and abortion is proof enough of that. We can only hold on to our own faith. We can only live lives of goodness, compassion, and holiness. We can pass on this faith. We can teach our faith to our children, and those willing to listen. That is what we can do. But in a free society we have to understand that there are many laws in which we disagree, but we must be free to choose. That is at the heart of our faith. We choose our path. As long as human rights are respected, we have to live with laws we don’t like. We can protest. We can vote. We can run for office ourselves. That is how we change things. We change hearts first.

Beginning with our own.

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