Anonymous asked this question on 6/22/2000:
Can you please critically analyze the
debate around same-sex unions. Discuss
both sides of the debate and argue for
your own position on the subject.
JesseGordon gave this response on 6/22/2000:
I'll give you a good starting point from the presidential race, since this issue has been addressed by all the major candidates. First, me headlines from each candidate on gay marriage and the related issue of gay adoption:
Pat Buchanan: Opposes gay rights agenda in its entirety (May 30)
Ralph Nader: Supports Civil Union in Vermont and elsewhere (May 7)
Pat Buchanan: No gay VP; no gays in Cabinet; it's "a disorder" (May 4)
George W. Bush: No gay adoptions; but listens to gay GOP group (Apr 24)
Al Gore: Stop discrimination against same-sex domestic partnerships (Mar 1)
George W. Bush: Against gay marriage, but leave it to the states (Feb 15)
Alan Keyes: Oppose gay agenda in military & marriage laws (Jan 6)
You can see the full quotation for each of the headlines above at http://issues2000.org/News_Gay_Rights.htm and at http://issues2000.org/Al_Gore_Civil_Rights.htm
The current hot issue is that in April 2000, the Vermont House of Representatives gave final approval to same-sex marriages. Gays and lesbians may join in "civil unions," which are no expected to be recognized by other states and will not entitle the partners to federal benefits. The Vermont Supreme Court had ruled in December that gay and lesbian couples denied the right to marry were suffering from unconstitutional discrimination.
You can see further links regarding this issue at http://issues2000.org/Background_Civil_Rights.htm .
And finally, if you want to get some serious feedback to your question, post it on "The Gay Rights Forum" at http://govote.speakout.com/forum/summary.asp?summary=1&forum ID=84&page=1 .
You also asked for our personal opinion. Mine is that gay marriage doesn't affect anyone except the two people involved. The government has no right to involve itself by making laws concerning a private relationship. It seems to me that marriage is one of the most fundamental rights that we have as people, and that right shouldn't be infringed at all. Regardless of your views on homosexuality, it's a separate argument whether you should have the right to impose your views on other people.
Buchanan's view that gay marriage is "immoral" and therefore that it should be banned indicates a basic misunderstanding of civil rights. He can think it's immoral and I wouldn't oppose him; but when he says it should be banned BECAUSE he thinks it's immoral, then I oppose him in every way possible. Buchanan has backed off his anti-minority viewpoints on other issues, but his position here indicates that his basic viewpoint is that the majority morality should supercede individual rights. That's the REAL issue of gay marriage, as far as I'm concerned -- not anything to do at all with sex or morality.
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