Sunday, January 24, 2010

Protecting the sanctity of marriage against threats until death (or my serial cheating) do us part

So I noticed that Republican Sen. John McCain's wife and daughter have appeared in photos opposing California's gay marriage ban. While anyone supporting equal rights is obviously a good thing, I've never been one to overly care what the family members of politicians think; I vote for or against the candidate, not his spouse or children. But in response to the story, the legislator's spokesman said, "Sen. McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman."

That California's definition of marriage as one man and one woman was most aggressively pushed by Mormons is an irony to discuss another day.

But I suspect that loving, committed gay couples may wonder if a once-divorced man who reneged on his oath to love his first wife until death do them part really knew enough about the "sanctity of marriage" to deny their participation in it. As for the current Mrs. McCain, who's never been divorced, they might give a little more credibility to her views on the topic.

North Country Public Radio's excellent In Box blog had a piece on the topic in which it mentioned that one of the most prominent Republican mayors in the country, San Diego's Jerry Sanders, broadcast his own support for gay marriage, after discovering that his daughter is a lesbian in a committed relationship.

It made me remember how Joe Bruno changed his tune on equal rights for gays when he discovered he had a gay relative (a brother, I think). The then-majority leader helped pass the state's Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act through a GOP-controlled state senate and has come out in favor of in favor of marriage equality. Even someone as normally opposed to human rights as Dick Cheney, who has a lesbian daughter, has never engaged in the sort of populist gay bashing designed to pander to the most, small-minded and hateful of his own party. It seems it's a lot easier to demonize gays when they are just some crude, generic stereotype, when they are The Other... but much harder when they are the kind, honorable son/daughter/brother/sister you've loved all your life.

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