On his “Just Think!” blog, Exodus executive director Alan Chambers reprints statements by Sen. Bill Frist supporting a nationwide constitutional ban against marriages and civil unions for gay people.
XGW encourages Chambers to think about issues, as his blog title suggests, before posting others’ commentaries verbatim.
As the massive civil disobedience in San Francisco made clear, it is a federal ban on gays obtaining marriages or civil unions that risks causing marriages to spread like “wildfire” among gays — through civil disobedience against an unjust ban, if necessary.
Unfortunately, Chambers and Frist misunderstand or ignore much of the context in which the opposing sides’ efforts to save marriage are occurring. In fact, nearly everyone — from Chambers and the religious right to liberal opponents of the “marriage now” campaign including Barney Frank, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and the antigay “allies” of the NGLTF — has neglected to consider how strongly thousands of longtime gay couples value marriage. They value the commitment and responsibilities of marriage so highly that they are willing to thwart unjust laws and unequal treatment by government agencies to claim what they believe belongs rightfully to them and God, not the state.
The FMA supporters, liberal and conservative, kid themselves that if they treat couples and their children unequally and unfairly enough, then those disenfranchised citizens will go back to the closet and cease to exist. But sooner or later, historically, disenfranchised citizens fight back against laws that are seen as discriminatory and dehumanizing. If neither liberals nor conservatives can be trusted to defend equality and integrity for all Americans through the rule of law, then many gay couples just demonstrated this weekend that they will take their chances and seize what rightfully and equally belonged to them all along, rules be damned.
While I am happy for those couples and their children, I am saddened, too: America would be much better off if it didn’t disenfranchise couples, or stereotype and divide America’s families, in the first place.