I forgot an event this week: we bought a new fridge. Yes, we bought a fridge from Sears, thus sending ourselves into a fit of DhomesticBlis(tm). My 20 year old fridge is going away, because it decided to make a burning plastic smell. Ewwww.
With the topic of same-sex marriage coming around the papers, I find myself with something to think about. Please excuse the sketchy logic and half-thought ideas. This ain't no academic paper. I've boiled the question down to this: Under what conditions and limitations do we have families? Who starts a family? For the most part, this is the decision or inertaction of individuals. The government does not tell you who to marry. At one point, your family could tell you who to marry, but this is generally disfavored these days. So the start of the start is the people involved. This involves marriage, birth, adoption, or fostering. Who recognizes family? This is a more complicated problem. Socially, it is the community that recognizes family. This involves both the extended family and the various communities that a family intersects with. On a day-to-day basis, families grow bigger and allow new members in. This included gay couples. The families may not be happy with this, but many do grow to include the new members. Many do not. In this way, gay marriages are already here, as they exist in communities, and those communities accept them. (Again, not all communities do this.) There is a second dimension to families, and that is the legal dimension. What do the laws recognize? This is more complicated. The law recognizes very few ways to create a family. The law is more conservative. The law makes it both more difficult to start a family, and more difficult to dissolve one. The law gives rights that are significant, and not available any other way. Finally, there is the religious dimension of what marriage is believed to be. I won't touch that. Suffice it to say, in this brief think-aloud, that I stand with the rights of individuals to choose their families. I believe that this is a basic human right. I believe that the creation of a family is a community process. A family is a family because it is declared to be so by those in it, and is likewise recognized by the community. I believe that communities decide this as a basic social right. (Note that communities are not obligated to recognize these things. The right to choose is only meaningful if the choice is meaningful.) Sadly, rather than work something out and seeking equity over this issue, we are heading straight for an all-or-nothing decision. Opponents are using "I win" tactics. This means that they get something made into law which only reflects their own point of view, then declare, "I win!" Likewise, proponents seek court decisions to provide them with "I win" scenarios. Both directions are problematic, as this saddles society with arbitrary decisions, then prevents society from making alterations to those decisions as problems arise. As for religion, that deals with morals, and the last time that I checked, immorality is not against the law. Sin is not against the law. So these concepts have no merit in this debate.