I generally do not pat heterosexuals on the back on occasions where they speak up for GLBT equality. If someone finds lost money on the street and returns it to its rightful owner, I don’t see the justification for giving him or her a reward — that person merely did what any decent human is supposed to do. No difference.
An exception has to be made, however, for Blogcritics’ Margaret Toigo, who penned a beautiful piece on how mandating equality in marriage will actually defend and preserve the institution. The article actually moved me to tears. An excerpt:
To treat marriage as if it is nothing more than a license for two people to have sex and reproduce (as if one is required in the first place) diminishes the idea that loving commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation are the basic moral values that are essential to maintaining successful marriages and building strong families. If we keep prioritizing the basic biological function of procreation as a value in marriage, we will eventually lose sight of how the moral values commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation help married couples and their children to better deal with the challenges of family life in the modern world. …
In these tumultuous days of casual sexual relationships, no-fault and “quickie” divorces and cavalier attitudes toward marital fidelity, the institution of marriage is under siege from the continuing shifts in social and cultural mores of the last half-century. As a result, these changes in our modern society could cause marriage to become obsolete, which is a grave threat to the basic foundations of society and civilization itself.
Since there has never been a practical way to turn back the tide of social change, we must now reinvent marriage to preserve its viability as an institution that brings people together in love, commitment, loyalty, trust, mutual respect and cooperation to form the essential building blocks of civilized society known as families. In order to strengthen the social institutions of marriage and family, we must expand their definitions to include more people so that we can prevent the moral values that make successful marriages and strong families from being lost and forgotten in the midst of the pointless battles of a senseless culture war over the relatively trivial issues of sexual orientation and gender identification.
Toigo has much more to say on the subject and anyone who doubts the need for equality for all under law needs to read it.
Now, as I say, I don’t pat hets on the back for doing what’s right. Today, I must. This essay has given me something that is in short supply of late: hope. If there are more Margaret Toigos running around than I suspect, maybe America can be saved.
Oh, and here is another reason for hope: A San Francisco judge ruled today that the state’s gay-marriage ban in illegal. County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer, you rawk, just like Margaret Toigo.