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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage

If you're wondering why Ted Olson, the conservative Republican who successfully represented presidential candidate George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, has joined with David Boies (who represented Gore) in bringing the federal lawsuit to overturn prop 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, you can read his article at Newsweek - The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage: Why same-sex marriage is an American value (there's a video of him too). It's a long article, but here below is a part which I find very compelling (h/t to Episcopal Cafe) .....

"The simple fact is that there is no good reason why we should deny marriage to same-sex partners. On the other hand, there are many reasons why we should formally recognize these relationships and embrace the rights of gays and lesbians to marry and become full and equal members of our society.

No matter what you think of homosexuality, it is a fact that gays and lesbians are members of our families, clubs, and workplaces. They are our doctors, our teachers, our soldiers (whether we admit it or not), and our friends. They yearn for acceptance, stable relationships, and success in their lives, just like the rest of us.

Conservatives and liberals alike need to come together on principles that surely unite us. Certainly, we can agree on the value of strong families, lasting domestic relationships, and communities populated by persons with recognized and sanctioned bonds to one another. Confining some of our neighbors and friends who share these same values to an outlaw or second-class status undermines their sense of belonging and weakens their ties with the rest of us and what should be our common aspirations. Even those whose religious convictions preclude endorsement of what they may perceive as an unacceptable "lifestyle" should recognize that disapproval should not warrant stigmatization and unequal treatment ......."


Thomas Reese SJ made some similar points in his post Right or Rite, Civil Discussion in Order.


Blogger Deacon Denny said...

Thanks, Crystal.

I used some of this in a conversation last night, at a meeting of our "Catholic African Connections" group, with others who were talking about the situation in Uganda. I mentioned a similar situation in Malawi that my son had posted in HIS blog, "Letters from Namitembo" --
see: It's about a gay couple coming out in Malawi, and the ruckus that raised.

Anyway, I brought up the points you quoted in the post. I had read them before in Reese's writing, but they didn't hit the same way until I read them in your post. When you get past the IDEAL to a discussion of the REAL, we begin to acknowledge the fraility common to us all.

It's undeniably true, isn't it? God DOES want to us to have committed, loving relationships, in a way that promotes good homes, stability for children, and more.
I'm sure I do believe in an ideal about heterosexual marriage in which children are a natural result. But much of life is simply NOT ideal. It would be easy to cite the problems with the institution of marriage in our current culture -- not so "ideal," right?

And what about the violent world order that we all must endure? We live in a violent world, but we try to do the best we can with our lives. Certainly we can find God alive around us in spite of the violence we're immersed in -- but it is not what God intends for us.

God certainly loves us even in our fragility and brokenness.

Don't know if this makes sense or not!

1:48 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Denny,

Ted Olson, the lawyer for the case to overturn proposition 8 who wrote the article I quoted from, is very good at bringing up practical issues in a way that can touch everyone - I guess lawyers are taught to be persuasive speakers/writers. It seems even more telling because he's a political conservative who you would expect to be against gay marriage - I guess that's his point, that it really is beneficial to everyone, not just liberals.

I think I know what you mean about the difference between the ideal and the actual. My family was anything but ideal - my mom was married four times in all and I had two stepfathers, neither of whom was good.

Thanks for the link to your son's blog. Beautiful photo at the top of the page.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

He's a really good photographer. Last year we used some of his pictures to make a calendar, which we sold to raise money for the food shortage in Malawi. Raised around $40,000!

10:57 AM  

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