By Tim Baldwin
Years ago, most (if not all) states criminalized homosexuality. If a Republican announced he was for decriminalizing homosexuality, he would have been accused of being a “RINO” or the like. Those days are gone. As legal scholar Richard Posner said, “sodomy laws should generate the same lack of concern as now defunct laws prohibiting adultery.” Over time, Republicans have loosened on the subject.
No states criminalize homosexuality now because we do not see homosexuals as threatening to society – experience perhaps being the greater teacher. The trend of treating homosexuals equally as heterosexuals is increasing to the point that Republicans holding executive office are not defending laws that ban gay marriage – Virginia’s attorney general being the most recent and notable example.
So, will the GOP self-implode if it supports gay marriage as some claim? I don’t think so.
Republicans are increasingly acceptant of gay marriage, partly because they do not want government preventing adult contractual relationships, they do not see traditional marriage being threatened by what homosexuals do, and they see economic benefits. If our history of decriminalizing “immoralities” is an indication of how people view government’s role on social issues, it seems inevitable that banning gay marriage will one day be seen in the same way we see criminalizing “immorality”: a defunct law.
By Joe Carbonari
I believe that the granting of equal rights to homosexual marriage partners will prove to be positive for those directly involved, their extended families, and our society as a whole. The bonds formed in a loving relationship are stabilizing factors to be welcomed and celebrated.
While there is no doubt that there are benefits involved in the positive role models that are associated with more traditional relationships, similar benefits can be had through the natural exposure to friends and family that occur over the course of a child’s upbringing. And there is no denying that many “traditional” but dysfunctional relationships are anything but edifying for both the children and the adults involved.
It is difficult for two individuals to get along in close proximity to one another over an extended period of time regardless of whether they are married or co-habiting, gay or straight, childless or not. It is not for me to challenge another’s predilections as long as that person does me or society no harm.
As for the role that gay rights may have in our national politics, I am optimistic. Liberals on this issue are generally accepting and inclusive. Those conservatives that are not are faced with the type of decision that has widely applicable ramifications. They must decide what is worth fighting for…and be ready to suffer the consequences if they lose. May God be with us.
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