Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Marriage Amendment Angst

I share the experience of serving in elected office at the municipal level with a relative of a younger generation. Neither he nor I are currently in office but both of us comment on politics on our blogs. I always appreciated his ability to represent both sides of an argument as well as justify why he held or came to the position that he did. His recent review of a vote in his municipal council, however, is a striking reversal of that reputation.

At the same time this failure to communicate both sides of the argument captures perfectly the sad state of public discourse on the Marriage Amendment / Marriage Equality issue. Here is how he describes the debate and vote.

"Based on past votes and comments, I'm going to guess that (*) and (*) were the anti-gay, anti-equality votes against this resolution.  But I'm very glad that the progressive majority that remains on the council did the right thing and spoke up for human rights and decency and against this bigoted and discriminatory ballot measure."

I have  removed the names that the original posting specified. as I have no knowledge of those persons. I do know that I get classified with the same libel for even raising questions about the issue, about one side or the other or come to a different conclusion on some point different than some other citizen. To read the entire posting that stimulated by concern click here

I read daily, posting from marriage equality proponents as well as fellow DFLers who oppose the amendment so am quite quite familiar with the arguments against the amendment. The libelous generalization of all who would have a question or a different opinion seems absolute from this side, however. It reminds me of the strange stone wall thrown up by opponents of health care reform two years ago. My effort to have a rational discussion with my opponents in that issue were universally met with endless responses that were from a small set of talking points that communicated no helpful information at all.

Since I currently come down on the other side of this issue I am also familiar with many of the arguments that lead citizens to support the amendment. These arguments are diverse. My questions and conclusions have led me to a largely political or civil argument in support of the amendment. I suspect that such an argument is not typical on either side of this issue. I can report that unlike the anti amendment posting I receive every day that no categorical classifications of those on the other side are made. In fact all those I have talked or corresponded with on this side have friends and family, that that they love, who oppose the amendment. In fact most of us have family, friends and fellow minsters that are gay who we love and support in their lives, loves and vocations. Sorry to say, the polarity in our current political climate has infected this issue also.

I do know persons who speak hatefully about gays but usually they also do not know or love any gay persons. Such bigots are (a) unlikely to vote or (b) if voting should be a know and small component of the vote. This anti-gay bigotry does seem to have a significant role in the ongoing bulling crisis in our schools and communities, however. 

Click here is a link to my relative's Blog which is usually very rational and informative.


DAH said...

if you were not voted into office on this issue, keep your nose out of it and mind the people's business of running your local goverment!

Joe on Lida said...

DAH, I do wonder what the motivation was for this being a municipal issue. I suspect its the same thing that's happening in our polarized federal House of Reps where the republican majority has its say and the minority has no say or the Senate where democratic majority have their say and the minority has none.

Most of my time in office we liberals were in the minority and the majority could make these kind of political resolutions while ignoring our input or questions.