What the Marriage Debate Means to Each Side
With my schedule, I wasn’t able to attend this year’s hearing at the Statehouse on same-sex marriage. The arguments that I’ve been making for years still stand, though, and to some extent, I’m not convinced that the battle has much to do with reason, anymore (if it ever did).
The dueling radio ads tell the story behind the debate. The traditionalist side, presented by the National Organization for Marriage, expresses concerns about the significance of cultural confusion when important definitions lose their meaning by putting some questions in the mouths of children. The radical side, voiced by Marriage Equality RI, features a marmish school teacher’s voice explaining to her class how utterly obvious a civil rights issue marriage is.
The pro-same-sex-marriage ad is indicative of the mindset of the advocates behind its cause: There are no questions; nothing about the issue is so complicated or sensitive that teachers couldn’t set about educating their public-school charges. It’s amazing that they apparently don’t realize how directly they are contributing to a central concern of their target audience: It isn’t that Mike and Steve’s wedding will affect any heterosexuals’ marriages; it’s that an entire worldview — one that has persisted throughout history and across boundaries — will be dismissed and attacked as deprecated bigotry as a matter of law and within our public institutions