Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gay Marriage

Today's Phila Inquirer had a nice pro and con reaction to the federal judge's ruling which struck down the California law which outlawed gay marriage in that state. In reality, his ruling seemed to indicate that the law contradicted California's constitution that guaranteed equal protection under the law. His ruling basically says that the anti gay marriage law did not present any facts that proved that gay marriage is harmful to society but instead reflected a religious bias against homosexuality.

I sent the following e-mail to the writer in support of the referendum which had been voted upon by the citizens of California and banned gay marriage.

Mr. Donovan,

I read your entire article looking for logical, legal reasons why the gay community should not be entitled to marry just as I did while reading the companion article written by John Nichols in support of the ruling. At this point, I am more inclined to lean towards
Mr. Nichols presentations than towards your own, but perhaps I missed something in your column.

I am sure you are of sufficient intelligence to know that our founding fathers did not create this as a true democracy but as a representative republic. My impression is that they did not trust the everyday person's ability to separate emotion, myth and religious bias (yes, I used that word on purpose) from logic and reason. And, while they had not progressed past the opinions of the time which did not believe that blacks (and woman for that matter) were deserving of the right to vote, they at lease gave us a framework that would provide us with the building blocks to evolve to that point. You must realize that if popular vote was all that mattered, the election of 2000 would have produced a different result. And that so many of the great steps forward that this country has made in the past 200 years towards a true reflection of "all men are created equal" would have taken much longer if we had been dependent on the populace to come around to that way of thinking. Towards the end of your article, you say that this ruling "will be a monument to the ruling elite's arrogant ambition to frustrate the will and the wisdom of the people". Based on the founder's creation of the three branches of government and the concept of checks and balances, should I infer that they shared this arrogance that you imply?

In that vein then, you equate the judge's ruling as "activist" in that it contradicts the popular vote. This theme runs throughout your article as you cite many surveys about gay marriage as well as other popular votes that have taken place throughout the country whereby the people have expressed doubts on legalizing gay marriage. You do touch briefly on the subject of children raised by gay parents and the possible problems that this environment will cause but not with evidence that it is bad but with a backhanded attack on the data that currently, does not support either position, good or bad.

My impression is that marriage, as defined by one man, one woman, does not include a reference to children yet that seems to be an important aspect of continuing to deny same-sex marriage. I would logically lean more towards this position if you denied marriage to heterosexual couples who did not have children, or heterosexual couples who were on their 3rd marriage with 8 variously conceived step children, or heterosexual couples who were alcoholics or drug addicts or heterosexual couples who provided insufficient love and support for their children, or etc, etc.

In the end though, I would ask you if you believe that gay people are born that way? If not, then that view contradicts most evidence in support of gay at birth. My personal experience with gay people, while a very small sample, certainly agrees with this belief. And, while I have never seen this question asked, I would bet that a majority of Americans, if asked to vote on that question, would lean towards gay at birth. Once that is admitted, then one must assume that, as you say, "every human being has a male and a female parent" which means that gay people spring from heterosexual parents. Nature overcomes nurture.

Finally, for me then, the moral aspect of the issue is the most compelling argument to allowing gay marriage. God created them just as he created heterosexuals. They are a minority but so are left handed people, superb athletes, and those with blond hair and blue eyes. Would you deny any of those groups the right to marry?

It is my firm belief that in fifty years, this discrimination will be looked upon by our grandchildren with the same shock and disappointment that we feel when we see the "colored only" signs from images of the 1960's. In the meantime, I hope you remain open to debate and discussion on this issue. Towards that end, I am certainly willing to continue this discourse if you are willing.


Joe Pugnetti


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  3. Very good article. I also just happened to stumble upon your blog while doing some homework. That was a very good arguement you presented in your letter to Mr. Dovan.