Thursday, June 30, 2005

Gay Rights and Gay Marriage

I've been meaning to rant on the the issues of gay rights and gay marriage for a while now. Since Maine voters will, to all appearances, be voting on another referendum this fall, now seems to be as good a time as any. Warning: what follows is apt to cause distress to both liberals and conservatives.

First of all, let me say that anti-discrimination laws, as they are currently written, are not to my liking. I am all in favor of making any law that is necessary to underscore the fact that any level or function of government should not discriminate against any citizen due to membership in the classes usually enumerated. In Maine, according to Village Soup, those are currently "a person’s race, age, gender, religion or disability." And I'd certainly be very pleased to see sexual orientation added to that list.

However, I do not agree with the notion that government should force bigots to deal with people they don't want to deal with, unless they're fulfilling a government function. If some jerk doesn't want to hire someone because they're black, gay or Swedish, I say fine, the rest of us are better off without them. I wouldn't work for or do any other business with anybody who was so idiotic, and that should be the end of it. We non-bigots don't need to waste our time policing the private activities of bigots. Bigots should have rights, too. Due to that reasoning, I would vote in favor of rescinding not only the "gay rights" portion of the law, but also the portions of the law for every protected class which do not concern governmental functions.

The thing that has me befuddled about the current campaign by the Christian Civic League, d.b.a. the "Coalition for Marriage," is their out-and-out misrepresentation that the bill which their referendum seeks to veto has anything to do with gay marriage. If it did, I would certainly be an ardent defender of the legislation, rather than an opponent. I want gays and lesbians to be able to enjoy the same wonderful legal relationship with their lovers that I have been blessed to undertake with my lovely wife, Rowan. It is indeed discriminatory on the part of government to disallow same-sex marriages. Ending that discrimination would be worth, perhaps, the imposition of some laws on private activity as well.

So keep working on it, Michael Heath. If you are able to convince me by November that keeping the recently passed legislation in place is the only way to obtain gay marriage rights in this state, I'll be casting my vote against your effort.



Filed Under: