Friday, December 26, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in comments on another blog that many gay people, including advocates of same-sex marriage, confuse civil marriage with religious marriage. Another commenter said that she had participated in some big anti-Proposition 8 protests, and she'd never seen anyone making that mistake. I haven't replied yet, but when (or if) I do, I'll say something to the effect that she probably just hadn't noticed the confusion. (Perhaps because she's not completely free of it herself, as shown by some things she said.) Once you start noticing something, it turns up everywhere.

For example, at the Nation website, Richard Kim (who's often written for them on GLBT issues, and so is probably gay himself) has a sensible article on GLBT liberals' feeling of betrayal because their Messiah-elect invited Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. I thank Kim for the information that Warren's ballyhooed global AIDS programs, "some funded by Bush's global AIDS plan, advocated abstinence-only education and Christian conversion." Just as I thought.

Kim notes Obama's oft-quoted remark that "my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman." And then he writes:
But here's the bright spot for gays and lesbians: there's actually common ground that they might find with Obama and Pastor Rick--it's just not on religious terms. Both say they support full equal rights for gays and lesbians. Let's test this premise by pushing forward a federal civil union bill that guarantees all the rights of marriage for same-sex couples, as Obama has suggested in his platform. Perhaps over time, some straights will want in on this God-free institution too, and we'll have civil unions for everyone. Then Warren will be free to sanctify as marriages only the unions he likes. And I'll be free to sanctify mine by whatever idol I choose, or to choose not to at all.
Um, Richard, we already have a "God-free institution" that "guarantees all the rights of marriage", if only for mixed-sex couples at the moment. It's called civil marriage, and it's available in every state of the union. It's not sanctified unless the couple involved chooses to take it to church. Warren is already "free to sanctify as marriages only the unions he likes", as is every other minister or priest. Civil marriage is not religious marriage, okay? I swear, you children are just saying these things to drive me crazy!

(Image above from here.)