Feb 162004
Authors: Shannon Baldwin

James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, said in response

to the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that homosexuals are

legally entitled to wed under the state constitution, “The dire

ramifications of what is happening in the United States and other

Western nations cannot be overstated,” according to


Dire ramifications? I wonder if some – what I will term as

“traditionalists”- thought the same thing when the Supreme Court

ruled that racial segregation was a violation of equal


Mr. Dobson explains, “For millennia, traditional marriage – the

union of one man and one woman – has been celebrated by every

culture on Earth as the cornerstone of society. But now, we have

this activist court that is arrogant enough to say that those

thousands of years of culture are simply wrong.”

Really, Mr. Dobson? I know Focus on the Family is supposed to be

a Christian-based organization, but I remembered there being a

plethora of examples of the traditional Judeo-Christian forefathers

not bound in traditional union. The Bible’s Jacob married both Leah

and Rachel. That makes two wives, doesn’t it? Heck, King Solomon

had 700 wives and 300 concubines (or was it the other way around?).

But our activist judicial system ruled that bigamy was morally

wrong back when the Mormons were trying to practice their freedom

of religion.

Mr. Dobson must be fuming about the news out of San Francisco

this weekend. Last Thursday, San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom,

ordered the county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses for

lesbian and gay couples. As of Monday morning, 1,600 same-sex

marriages had been performed with hundreds waiting in line to try

to have their chance at something that Britney Spears takes for

granted – her Vegas marriage lasted 55 hours. One lesbian couple

married this weekend has been together for over 40 years. Now who

is destroying the sanctity of marriage?

The nation is split on the issue, with many prominent

legislators supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution

defining marriage as only between a man and a woman as the only way

to protect the sanctity of matrimony. Their soft-handed solution of

what to do about these troublesome same-sex couples is to allow

them a civil union.

But the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD),

comment that civil unions are separate and unequal to marriage.

Mary L. Bonauto, a lead GLAD attorney, said, “Marriage is much more

than the sum of its parts. The word itself is protection.”

The Massachusetts legislature is contemplating a civil union

proposal that allows couples joined in civil union all of the state

law-based rights applicable to spouses, but withholds the name as

well as the legal and social protections that accompany the name.

GLAD says that this is just a form of second-class citizenship.

For all those who are interested, this Saturday is National

Freedom to Marry Day. There will be a rally and march at 2 p.m. in

Old Town Square, followed by wedding cake, open mic, music and

festivities at Avo’s.

I can’t help but feel that legislating upon moral basis is a

dangerous walk toward religion ruling the state – and at the

dangerous cost of inequality to many citizens. What does it matter

who else is getting married? How can that possibly affect someone

else’s private covenant between another person and God? Marriage is

not the government’s business.

As the bumper sticker says, “Focus on your own family.”

Shannon is a senior majoring in technical journalism. Her column

runs every Tuesday.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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