Saturday, November 22, 2003


If nothing changes, we are destined for at least a year of cultural and political discord over the issue of gay marriage.

Most Republicans will probably decry the possibility of recognition of the right of gay people to marry. President Bush may well continue efforts to have all Americans follow various tenets of his faith. Many Democrats, and even David Brooks, support the right of gays to marry. But in the presidential election campaign, Mr Bush, invoking God and family values, will make them pay for it. And we all must endure the din.

The solution - take marriage off the table.

Let marriage be the private commitment that it really is. Those who wish can choose marriage, and label it as such, in accordance with their faith, spiritual values, ethics, or other personal beliefs. It may or may not be church or religion related; that depends of the tenets of the church and the wishes of the couple.

On the other hand, the state should have nothing to do with the institution of marriage. Its concern should only be civil union and the regulation of the legalities of formation and dissolution, basic rights and obligations of the parties, and economic benefits attendant to the union. The state's role as protector of children remains unchanged.

With all of this marriage turmoil behind us, we can concentrate on real issues such as Liza Mannelli's left hook.


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