When a Man loves a Man

The General Assembly in Indiana wants to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would outlaw same sex marriage. Now this is already illegal in Indiana by law but the push for an amendment to the Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman is fear that the law might be struck down by a court. I find that to an interesting argument as if the law is so bad that it might not hold up in court truly questions whether the law should exist in the first place. But more so I am struck by the lack of good arguments for defining marriage as such. I mean there is the religious argument but that shouldn't enter into the civil discussion. Basically what this law and amendment will do is have the government decide what kind of contract two consenting adults can enter into. Beyond religion, I see no rationale reason for denying the right of marriage to the person of their choice to anyone who happens to love someone with the same physical appearance.
Now the religious argument is powerful, but not always fully formed. Too often the argument relies on "The Bible says so". When talking about the passage in Leviticus that is a hollow answer. Jewish Biblical tradition would, in almost all cases, look for deeper meaning than the literal words on the page. In fact the deeper meaning is often the more prominent view of the text and this is clearly seen in a Jewish understanding of the famous "eye for an eye" text and the not quite so famous "do not place a stumbling block before the blind". For many centuries Jews view the text of the Torah as a lesson, not to be merely read as a document of fact, but as a poem giving one a deeper understanding of live we live. To think the Torah text is simply to be examine on one level is to assume William Carlos Williams had a remarkable wheelbarrow and so...

In a society that understands that love is not about morphology but about emotion, that we can't simply rely on the 3000 year old text to define all of morality, and that even if we could our country was founded on liberty from any kind of specific set of understanding of a creator or that creator's vision for us, we must all stand together and say outlawing same sex marriage and writing it in our Constitution is not who we are as Americans. Someone said the other day that in 50 years students will look at today as the time we debated the silliness of same-sex marriage. Let's not let history laugh at us to harshly.


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