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Thursday, November 04, 2004

All those amendments

Clearly one of the big stories of the US election are the 11 amendments banning same-sex marriages. What I find interesting about them is the wide geophraphical spread of them. This was not just the Bible Belt, or the South, or Utah. It was also Oregon, Michigan, and Ohio. And the margins were huge. The smallest margin was in Oregon where the amendment passed 57-43. If that were the popular vote result we'd call it a landslide.

What does that tell us. Simply it was not just rabid homophobes who voted for these amendments, but ordinary people who had some serious concerns. From a foreign perspective I see if very simply, the one thing that really really makes people angry is when they think their democratic rights are being taken away. The mostly Democratic supporters of gay marriage ought to be familiar with that, because it was that emotion that has been largely behind their anger at GWB for the last few years. Well, it works with court decisions too. The moment the Masschussetts' court ruled you were going to get a backlash. Action and reaction.

I have another personal perspective, and that by insisting for marriage, as opposed to civil unions, the gay advocates are stoking the fire of conservative anger. Like it or not "marriage" is an emotive word. It is also a religious one (indeed, from a Catholic perspective it is a sacramental one). It remains one of the most religiously charged words in the modern English language. In my opinion the separation of church and state should work both ways, and the state should kick itself out of the marriage market.

If a state decides through its legislative process to give adult couples (whether heterosexual or homosexual) certain legal rights that is one thing. If it starts to encroach on my faith though (as it does with talk of marriage) or does my judicial fiat you bet people are going to get angry. As I said at the beginning, few things anger people more than their vote getting taken away.

Just my ha'penny.

PS Waddling Thunder has similar thoughts, though of course from a more relevant, American perspective.

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