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January 27th, 2009

Why Deemphasizing Marriage Will Never Work

In the wake of the passage of Proposition 8, and predictably, you heard the voices from the back bench bellyaching that we were all fighting the wrong fight.  Why are we making such a big deal out of marriage they asked, when we still lack basic anti discrimination protections in jobs and housing?  Why are we putting so much energy into a fight about same-sex marriage, which most of the country is against anyway, when gay people can still be fired from their jobs, denied housing, denied service in stores and restaurants?  Let’s fight for the basics first, they say. 

Sure.  Go right ahead…

Ruzicka, Sutherland wage campaigns against gay rights

Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative — a push for legal protections for gay and transgender Utahns — has drawn hundreds of marchers to a Capitol Hill rally, thousands of petition signatures and even broad-based support in statewide opinion polls.

The initiative also has ignited a backlash, led by defenders of "traditional marriage" who want to crush the effort.

Rather than "common ground," Gayle Ruzicka and the Constitutional Defense of Marriage Alliance are touting "common sense." And a Salt Lake City-based conservative think tank, The Sutherland Institute, wants Utahns to stand on "sacred ground" instead.

"The family is the central unit of society, and so our efforts in this regard are ultimately to protect the traditional family and protect marriage," said Sutherland spokesman Jeff Reynolds, who acknowledged Equality Utah has run a "very effective" campaign.

Next week, his group will kick off its Sacred Ground Initiative, a counteroffensive aimed at defeating the five gay-rights bills, all sponsored by Democratic lawmakers, that make up the Common Ground Initiative.

"The message [from opponents] is that our bills are an attack on marriage — which is exactly what they’re not," said Will Carlson, Equality Utah’s public-policy manager. The proposed laws range from protecting someone from being fired for being gay to establishing a statewide domestic-partner registry that would afford some legal protections, such as hospital visitation, to same-sex couples.


Emphasis mine.  Here’s why we’re fighting for same-sex marriage.  Because every fight we’ve ever waged as a people has been turned into a fight over same-sex marriage by our enemies.  Watch it happen again in the fight for these so-called "common ground" gay rights bills in Utah.  Just like it’s happened every time since the days of Antia Bryant and Save Our Children in Florida.

It’s ironic that the bigots understand our fight better then many of us do.  The same logic that says it’s wrong to deny a gay man a job simply because he is a gay man, what do you know, leads in a straight and narrow path to the conclusion that it is also wrong to deny a gay man the right to marry the man he loves, simply because both of them are gay.  To concede it in the one case is to concede it in the other.  Though our enemies deny that rhetorically, you can see they know it perfectly well by how they turn every fight we engage in, for every meager right that heterosexuals take for granted every day, into a fight over same-sex marriage.

Deemphasize same-sex marriage all you want.  Our enemies will underline it in neon.  The homosexuals aren’t just fighting for the right to hold down a job.  The homosexuals aren’t just fighting for equal housing.  The homosexuals aren’t just fighting for the right to adopt.  The homosexuals aren’t just fighting for safe schools.  The homosexuals aren’t just fighting for the right to serve in the military.  The homosexuals aren’t just fighting to repeal the sodomy laws.  The homosexuals are fighting to make their perversion morally acceptable.  They are fighting for the honor and the dignity of their perverted sexual relationships.

Yes.  Yes we are.  That’s the heart of it.  Marriage isn’t central to this fight, but it’s damn close.  Closer then anything else in civil law.  If our sexual relationships are morally and civilly the equal of heterosexuals’ then not only is there no reason to deny us a job, there is no reason to deny us the right to marry.  That is why every fight in this struggle, is a fight over same-sex marriage.



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