Watering Down Reality
In reaction to Washington State’s passage and scheduled implementation of marriage equality, Rick Santorum has stated that marriage equality “waters down” the significance of marriage. He fails to explain how or why.
We have a serious issue about trying to get moms and dads to marry and stay together…I don’t see this as encouraging that. I think that at least from my perspective it tends to water down marriage instead of encouraging men and women to form healthy marriages
His statement presupposes the only viable family is headed by a mother and a father. Such is ignorant of the tens or hundreds of thousands of American, let alone worldside, same sex couple headed households and families with children. Those couples who would and have engaged in same sex pairing are evermore likely to exclude themselves from among the heterosexual candidates available to form mom-and-dad families. That’s because we don’t have to hide from public ostracism any more of who we are. Discriminating against ‘mos isn’t going to eliminate same sex headed households or prevent children from being loved, cared for, and living healthy, productive lives with either two mommies or two dads. Denial of marriage equality does stigmatize those families, reduce their resources and opportunities for success, and harms the very children in such relationships who Rick Santorum pretends to care about.
Open inclusion of same sex couples has never, in any of the countries, states, cities, districts, domains or territories where marriage equality is a reality, ever watered down the institution of hetersexual marriage nor thinned the pool of perspective mates. Conflating the two, discreet groups is a false equivalency. Including same sex couples in state recognized civil marriages does not reduce, harm or threaten heterosexual marraige. Heterosexuals are not prevented from marrying nor are they prompted to separate or divorce because homosexuals can marry. One does not follow the other. Saying, or implying that they do, is a non sequitur logical fallacy.
It’s pretty intolerant to suggest that people have no rational reason to be in favor of this institution that has been the bulwark of society for 235 years.
Favoring marriage equality does not equal being against of the institution of heterosexual marraige. Implying that is so is also a false equavilency. It’s nonsense. It’s an outright lie. That’s all you got, Rick? Logical fallacies and religious dogma are the only justification you have for excluding segments of the population from enjoying a right designated by the Supreme Court [Loving v. Virginia, 2007: Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival...]? What’s the compelling state interest as required by the Supreme Court? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says they ain’t got one. That means your position, Rick, is as unConstitutional as it is intolerant. Vacuous. Facile.
When religionists enter the public square, they leave behind the protected sanctuary of the church where anything goes, where they are free to pursue their faith in whichever fashion they choose. But, in the civic arena, they leave behind the protection that allows them to impose the details of their faith on others. For some reason, many among the faithful regard imposing their supernatural fiats about behavior on others, whether based on true, unchallangable measurements or arbitrary, anachronisitic, archaic, capricious standards, among protected rights of worship. They don’t understand that imposition of religious edict is only protected within their sanctuaries, and their right to practice religion extends only the the tip of the next person’s nose.
Given a free pass to shove dogma on others in the name of religious tolerance is an abuse of religious freedom. Nothing in Rick Santrum’s Freedom of Religion requires anybody else to behave as if they agree or to pretend he even has a point. Calling one out on and preventing others from abusing religious freedoms has never been an attack on religion or faith, but a self-protection reaction to inappropriate behavior and abusive application of religious protections. Religious dogma has no place shaping civil, secular law, ethics aside, precisely because the same First Amendment that guarantees religious freedom also restricts government from enacting statutes that favor any faith over any other, including absence of faith. That, alone, disqualifies religious dogma as criteria for establishing statutes or denying rights to citizens. Those same judicial opinions have determined that, lacking a compelling state interest, the only function and result of marriage equality prohibitions is to single out specific citizens for special designation as second class citizens, robbing them of dignity, freedom, social benefits and unalienable rights.
Plainly put, it isn’t up to Rick Santorum or others who agree with him for whichever reason. Rick Santorum is just plain out of line. Recent court opinions have established that Santorum’s criteria for denying citizens marriage equality is unConstitutional. Ethics and morality aside, his positions on marriage equality are anti-social, undemocratic, anti-Constitutional and unpatriotic. By conspicuous conduct, he has disqualified himself from service in public office.
(c)2012 Nathan Garcia. All Rights Reserved.