Much has been made recently of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, nullifying the recent court decision to permit same-sex marriage. Now, I am a supporter of gay marriage for many reasons, not the least of which is my belief in the family unit and the societal importance in bringing the homosexual community into the mainstream. We should afford our fellow citizens basic equal rights. It will make for a stronger culture and a stronger nation. It is cruel to deny the foundation of marriage to adults who love one another. That's what I think. Others disagree, and they are welcome to disagree.
There are those, like the Westboro Baptist Church who are most certainly comprised of bigots. They protest at the funerals of soldiers and say that America has brought about the deaths of our brave young men and women through our lax moral code, our acceptance of gays, etc. They hoist signs that say "God Hates Fags." Just check out their website. It is a crash course in hatred and bigotry.
I doubt I'll find much argument on that point.
But a much larger swath of America disagrees with me about same-sex marriage. Many moderates, religious or otherwise, think that marriage is sacred and that it is defined by the union of one man and one woman. (I take issue with both points, citing divorce rates as one major flaw in the argument, but that is neither here nor there...)
One such opponent of gay marriage is our own President-elect, Barack Obama, often described as "the most liberal Senator in the United States Senate" or "in the history of mankind" or something to that effect. Not liberal enough, apparently, Barack Obama has made it very clear that he does not support gay marriage, but does support gay rights.
Is this like saying, "I support civil rights for black people, but not black marriage"? Or should I not touch that with a ten-foot pole?
In any case, the hue and cry out of the gay activist scene now is that bigotry brought about the passage of Proposition 8. Only bigots voted for it. This begs the obvious question: If bigots are the only ones opposing gay marriage (and no argument of tradition or religion has any merit) than does our new President-elect qualify as a bigot?
You tell me. Is Barack Obama a bigot for not supporting gay marriage? Or is it a more complicated issue? Once we start using such black and white language, the obvious flaws in this reasoning become apparent. After all, if Obama is a bigot, then how do we describe the members of Westboro Baptist Church? Do we begin to water down our words when we start to use them overmuch? Or do we hold all accountable equally?