Election 2008

4 09 2008

While I’m definitely not voting McCain, I cant quite hop on the Obama train. I want to. Most of my friends are on the train and it looks like an awful lot of fun, but I remain unconvinced. I’ve read his books, listened to his speeches and have had numerous, extensive conversations with my Obama-loving friends in an attempt to make myself like him. And I just can’t do it.

Here’s my rub: On Obama’s Support for the LGBT Community (which has undergone some edits from an earlier version this summer, has it not?), it states that he supports “full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples”, extending “marriage-like” rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples. Marriage-like? Are you serious? I am surprised that an African American presidential nominee would present such a separate-but-equal solution to the ongoing debate about lgbt marriage. Marriage-like is not equal to marriage; the reality is that it would simply create another category of difference: those who can be married and those who can not. Do we really need another box to check when filling out our insurance forms: single, married, widowed, married-like?

Obama is all about change, at least that is what I am told. He talks a good game; his speeches have been some of the most moving things I have heard in, well, a long time. They are the kind of speeches that will be quoted in history classes for their sheer elegance. I struggle, however, with his inability to think around the LGBT marriage debate. I don’t want to fall into that trap where I just become thankful that I could be getting any rights at all; I’m angry and annoyed and frustrated that we, as a nation, are still debating this. If I love and want to spend the rest of my life with the one I love, why should that be worth any less than my heterosexual counterpart? Why is my relationship marriage-like while they enjoy the social status of being marriage-standard?

I would love Barack, with his background in the law and religious background, to rethink the institution of marriage as a whole. (This is all wishful thinking – my desire to live somewhere that is fair and just.) It continues to be an inappropriate joining of church and state. The root of the marriage debate lies in religion, who has claimed marriage as a holy sacrament. Great, fine, you can have it. I don’t want it. What I want is a governmental process everyone has to go through in order to receive the rights and benefits that are bestowed on people who want to spend their life together, whether straight, gay, or lesbian. If someone wants the big to-do with the flowers and the satin and the dancing, spendid. Do it the same day. It will still be special and holy, if that’s your thing. If anything, separating the religious from the governmental would be good for marriage: it would signify a spiritual bond between two people who enter into a union rather than the multitude of messed up and crazy reasons people currently do. Peeps could still have their fancy shindigs and the government would be free from the ethical reigns of the church. Not everyone would be getting married, but no one would be bereft of the rights and benefits given to couples and children as a familial unit. Ah, yes. Wishful thinking.

Separate-but-equal sucks any way you slice it: it is simply another form of discrimination and I’m surprised to see it in such a landmark election by such a stellar candidate. Oh, Obama, you had me at the Audacity of Hope and lost me at Marriage-like.

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2 responses

4 09 2008
Becky

I didn’t know about this. I thought he was pro-same-sex-marriage. This whole marriage-like thing sounds like he wants to allow it, but is afraid of pissing off the religious right.

Since religion seems to be the stumbling point in the whole same-sex marriage argument, I really don’t understand why there can’t be some sort of civil marriage. Straight couples can get married outside the church by the JoP or even in other non-Christian religions, so why can’t same-sex couples?

4 09 2008
christianliberal

Actually I like all four presidential contenders.

McCain is a maverick.
Palin is inexperienced, but a quick study, and nobody’s fool.

Obama is dedicated to helping Americans on the home front.
Biden has a long history of experience with foreign affairs.

What it comes down to for me is:
=> WHICH CANDIDATES PROMISE TO END THE HUNDREDS
OF BILLIONS OF OF DOLLARS BEING POURED DOWN
THE DRAIN in Iraq, and which want to continue the war effort,
no end, no horizon in sight.

For that crucial issue, the Obama team wins hands down.
My humble opinion.
Sorry, Sarah!

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