One of the odd “advantages” of being married and gay in San Francisco must be that couples get to have weddings every couple of years. At first San Francisco passed a domestic partner law back in the 1990s and then they started issue marriage licenses under Mayor Gavin Newsom. At some point those were invalidated and now couples can once again get married. But wait, California has an initiative on the ballet to overturn the legality of those marriages. Presumably this debate will seesaw from one side to the other, and each time it becomes legal to do so, a gay couple can marry. The county clerk’s office makes out like a bandit until everyone gets tired of the game in the process.
Here’s the problem: each time a law is passed that forbids gay marriage, someone’s rights are taken away, in this case the right to be recognized as married, to have spousal rights, and to take advantage of other perqs only offered to married couples.
If the government is going to discriminate in such a way, we should ask either who it helps or who it hurts if they don’t. One could easily see why the government might need to restrict movements of someone with an infectious illness. One could agree with the argument for not giving driving licenses to the blind. But here, who is hurt if a marriage license is given to a gay couple? Nobody. Absolutely nobody.
It might make a person feel good to take someone else’s rights away, until that person has his or her rights taken away. Suppose we forbid the practice of religion? I could argue that there are immense social benefits to doing so. In fact I might continue that line of thought in the future. But keeping in mind the Spanish Inquisition, the recent abuse children in the Catholic church, and everything that went on in between (including standing by while many died in WWII), we could make a strong argument that religion is harmful, because we’ve seen evidence of it being harmful. We cannot say the same with gay marriages.
So let’s outlaw religion first, at least for a while, and see if the abuses curb. If not, then let’s agree to keep government out of the church. But let’s also agree to keep government out of the bedroom.