Member Rara Avis
Your story illustrates that it was a choice for the woman you knew, as far as the woman she partnered with how can you say she had no choice without an in depth psychological and environmental profile of her life?
You might be surprised just how in-depth I know both women, Steve. But, that's not the point. The point is that one made a choice, one had the choice made for her, and neither is any less than the other. Both are happy and no one is getting hurt.
If we are going to recognize one alternative lifestyle we should be prepared to accomodate them all.
That was the point I made way back on page one of the first thread, Steve. If we are going to recognize a union between two homosexuals, what arguments are we going to muster to avoid marriage between brother and sister? The trouble is, we're already on that road and have been for a very long time. A thousand years ago marriage between social classes was forbidden. Two hundred years ago marriage between faiths was forbidden. As little as just fifty years ago, marriage between races was forbidden. We've already traveled a few good miles on that road because, little by little, the majority have come to realize they cannot make choices for the minority.
Put another way, why shouldn't we accommodate all lifestyles that bring happiness without harm?
Isn't that what democracy is, the will of the majority? Put it to a popular vote... I would stand by that. BTW the last nationwide poll I saw was 52% against 40% for and 8% undecided
That is absolutely NOT what democracy is (or, more correctly, that is not what a republic is). Had you put it to a popular vote in the Sixties, your black neighbors would still be sitting at the back of the bus. There's a very good reason why it takes twelve people to convict and only one to set a man free. Minority Rights supersede Majority Rule. Always.
And again I ask what does marriage have to do with monogamy???
I agree completely, Steve. But I would go further yet, and ask what does marriage have to do with sex?
Marriage without sex is all too common. Sex without marriage is even more common. One is neither a prerequisite of the other, nor the cause of the effect. Marriage isn't even always about love, certainly not in the romantic, sweep-me-off-my-feet notions of the young and naïve. Marriage is about commitment. It's a public declaration of private intent. And the flip side to that is it "should be" a public acceptance of private intent.
The 2,000 benefits available through marriage fall under two different umbrellas.
The vast majority of those benefits are simply a recognition of personal commitment and the responsibilities it entails. When a man is unable to make his own medical decisions, his wife is able to legally make them for him. That's not just a right he gave her when he married her, that's a responsibility she accepted when she married him. The right and the responsibility are joined, indeed are inseparable, and a society that recognizes one without the other is only fooling itself. When two people agree to care for each other, in sickness and in health, our laws MUST give them the tools necessary to do so.
Some few of the benefits accrued to marriage are not necessarily a reflection of responsibility. Husband and wife get a special tax status for the same reason charitable contributions are deductible and companies get consideration for employing minorities. These aren't rights, but are rewards designed to encourage specific behaviors. This is where the majority, in the person of our representatives, gets to throw its weight around a bit. They can essentially reward anyone they like, for whatever they like. (Though in my opinion, government incentives become exceedingly dangerous when applied at any level that affects procreation. Rewarding or not rewarding people for having babies can, in a few short generations, change the face of a society. But I guess that's a different thread? )
A couple of centuries ago, a small group of men declared their belief that all people are endowed with certain inalienable rights. I don't know, but I just have to trust that the ability to take care of each other has to be one of the most basic ones.