Monday, November 03, 2008

McCain, Obama and gay marriage

Oddly enough, I feel strongly about gay marriage - I think it should be a given that the State's definition of marriage is blind to sexuality, and that religions can take whatever approach they see fit provided that the State and all religions are as separate as the State and the bowling clubs of that nation.

Religions rubber-stamp marriage in a way that is important to adherents of those religions but a matter of indifference to those who are not. That's an important issue for, say, gay Christians but it's not an argument someone who isn't a Christian can get involved with in a meaningful way. After all, as an atheist, I feel that all religious laws have to stand on rational and not dogmatic grounds, and so I wouldn't have this problem at all.

If a state confers different status for married people to singles, which it should*, then it isn't entitled to exclude anyone from marriage. All of a State's laws and measures should apply equally to all citizens of that State.

These two clips are indicative of the difference between Republican and Democrat candidates. McCain and Obama are actually saying the same thing here, but in different ways. But they are saying the same thing, and it's mealy-mouthed, please-everyone waffle in the case of Obama, and it's a far more honest approach from McCain, though he is of course trying to please a broad constituency that includes people who, on this issue, should be displeased or confronted. The whole character of the American constitution reserves decisions to as local a level as possible, and the only relevant level for marriage consists of the people involved and nobody else:

*That's a different argument to the that of this post so I'm going to set it to one side because even if you disagree with it, the point of this post stands.

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