One of the first items of business for the California legislature upon being sworn in yesterday was to reintroduce the gay marriage legalization bill which passed through both houses last year, only to be vetoed by the Governor. Writing on the OC Blog, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore decided to add a new argument to the gay marriage debate: it would embolden NAMBLA!
Mr. (Mark) Leno's bill hopelessly blurs the line of traditional marriage to the point that under the equal protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment as applied to the First Amendment, we might see a devout Saudi Arabian immigrant suing under religious discrimination reasons to allow him to have four wives in California. Or, we could see NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) suing to lower the age of consent to allow relationships between adult males and boys. After all, if marriage is no longer marriage, then anything goes. I do not dispute that two people can love each other and care for each other, but marriage has been defined by thousands of years of tradition and experience. The Legislature ought not to take a step down this slippery slope.
This is the man-on-dog, man-on-box turtle, slippery-slope, "please save me from marrying my pet" argument made popular by noted maniac Rick Santorum. The idea that homosexuals are essentially on the same side of the dividing line as child molestors is outrageous. The only people who seem to think deeply about how "anything goes" if gay marriage were to be allowed are conservative legislators. Exactly what is it in their makeup that makes them so afraid of their capacity to be perverse? Hmm, maybe I've answered my own question.
The truth is that the world is coming to an understanding that two people who love one another should be accorded all the abilities to publicly express that love, as well as the social and financial benefits therein.
Last month, South Africa joined the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Spain in opening civil marriage to same-sex couples, allowing them equal economic benefits, legal rights and social status as families. The law, passed by an astounding 230-41 margin in Parliament, was in response to an equally notable unanimous decision last year by the South African Constitutional Court. It ruled that the post-apartheid constitution ensures the dignity and equality of all people - and that includes lesbian and gay couples wishing to affirm their love and commitment through civil marriage.
Days afterward, when faced with five Israeli lesbian and gay couples who had married in Canada, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the government is required to officially register them as they would any other foreign marriage [...]
Denmark in 1989 became the first nation to legally recognize same-sex relationships, and Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland swiftly followed that lead. Much of Europe, including France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary, now recognizes same-sex partnerships for a range of purposes, including inheritance, property and social-benefits rights. Countries in formerly communist blocs - the Czech Republic and Slovenia - recognize partnerships, and Croatia has extended some economic benefits to same-sex couples.
In September, the Senate in Uruguay voted 25 to 2 to pass a broad partnership law, positioning that country to be the first Latin American nation to extend legal rights when it is passed by the full legislature. New Zealand's and Australia's domestic partnership laws allow some of the most important benefits, such as immigration, inheritance and property rights. The government in Taiwan suggested a bill allowing same-sex marriage, though nothing has yet come of it. In Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Switzerland, some economic and legal rights have been extended by city and regional authorities. Just last month, Mexico City broke ground as the first government entity in that country to recognize same-sex civil unions.
Our Puritan heritage means that we'll still have homophobes like Chuck DeVore trying to hold back the global tide of recognition for same-sex couples. But, as Martin Luther King once said, the long arc of history bends toward justice.