Vermonters Come Around

March 27, 2008

In a sampling of Vermonters, 54% now say they support same-sex marriage.  That is the first time in Vermont’s history that a majority is in favor– showing that it takes exposure to us in order to understand and accept us.

Vermont legalized same-sex civil unions several years ago, due to a court-ordered mandate.

One wonders where equality would be in Vermont if equality had been left to fend for its own in a secular society that devaules relationship.

In the church today, it seems apparent to me that the places which are most opposed to same-sex marriage are those which place dogma over relationship.  The gospel seems to speak pretty clearly to that…

j

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20 Responses to “Vermonters Come Around”

  1. Jesse Says:

    i still don’t understand why marriage is a state issue?
    isn’t it personal? family/community issue?
    what does the state have to do with it?

    just look up blacks law and marriage license and you will see that the whole purpose is discriminatory and controlling.

  2. Jeff Says:

    In theory I might agree with you, if by community you mean the faith community.

    But there are many, many rights and privileges which the state confers upon married couples, from tax benefits to small conveniences which are codified into the legal institution of marriage. It does so rightly, I might add, at least in my opinion. The state is the embodiment of the secular community; the assurance that we act coporately and that all voices are heard, at least in theory.

    The history of discrimination does not, for me, justify withdrawal, complacency, or nihilism– it justifies advocacy and an insistence on equality to ensure that all voices GET heard, even if they have not in the past.

    j

  3. Jesse Says:

    see i have heard the tax/privelege position before.

    i don’t feel that justifies what consitutes a personal/spiritual issue.

    to me it is a trap/special interest

    removing these “benefits” for ‘anyone’ would be true equality.

    creating groups of people in the fashion that policy currently does actually fuels these disparities. people want their cut too.
    to me this is counterproductive.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Perhaps. But currently there is actually a marriage penalty in the tax code, so you don’t have anything to worry about there.

    Society benefits from mutuality in relationships. Therefore society benefits from giving priviliges to those couples.

    That is the argument. You are working from a nihilistic argument that it is better to destroy the institution than fix it. I don’t buy that argument.

    j

  5. Jesse Says:

    society and state are not the same thing.

    the state is force.

    am sure you inderstand that just because something is law doesn’t mean it is inherently good.

    marriage is voluntary. incorporating the state as a third party is unnecessary.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Those are nihilistic arguments for the state I don’t think are applicable for marriage. It is hard to say that the state forces people to get married.

    j

  7. Jesse Says:

    isn’t the argument being made that the state is not allowing people to get married?

  8. Jeff Says:

    The argument I have heard against “rights” language and the use of state/government protection is that ultimately the state’s only enforcement is violence/force. I understood you to be making use of that argument here. I do not think that argument applies in the case of marriage– I have never seen the government incarcarate someone to force them to marry.

    The argument I am making is that the state denies the ability to get marries and come under the umbrella of the state’s protection for the same rights and privileges afforded to other married heterosexual couples. That is wrong and needs to be fixed.

    j

  9. bob Says:

    yeah the bible is pretty clear on homosexuality. You cant just pick and choose
    .

  10. Jeff Says:

    Bob –

    1) I do not believe the Bible is clear on homosexuality. There is no text that addresses same-sex relationships of mutuality, affection, and reciprocity– particularly when you factor in cultural context, translation decisions that have been made from the original Greek and Hebrew, and the specific issues addressed in the text (instead of proof-texting).

    2) This is a post on secular marriage, not on Biblical homosexuality. See other threads on this blog if that is a subject that interests you and I’ll be happy to engage you more thoroughly once you have more thoroughly familiarized yourself with more substantial arguments.

    j

  11. Jesse Says:

    exactly. that’s why i am offering an alternative.
    get the state out of marriage. what right does the state have in saying two people can’t marry. what right do married people have that others do not. there should be equal rights, not special rights or priveleges.
    i am not disagreeing with you essentially. just offering a completely opposite idea in how to solve the issue.

  12. Jeff Says:

    But that was my original point– I believe we do benefit as a society by having people in committed relationships. That is why marriage exists, so there should be benefits associated with marriage. Ditching the institution for me isn’t the answer– fixing it is.

    j

  13. Jesse Says:

    ah i c. you want to subsidize marriage.

    so do i get a choice in whether or not my tax money contributes to this behavior?

  14. Jeff Says:

    Of course. You get the same choice you get in all matters relating to your participation in the state. You get one vote in the collective conscious of our society when you go to the polls.

    Incidentally, this isn’t about the “subsidization” of marriage. As I’ve already mentioned, there is currently a marriage tax penalty, not a financial benefit for marriage. The benefits are not necessarily financial for the state.

    j

  15. Jesse Says:

    do you support this federally? i hope not
    you don’t live in my state do you?

  16. Jesse Says:

    of course, i assume you would have to believe this no knows no borders.

    i can only assume you believe in some sort of theocracy?

    i just don’t understand the connection between the state and marriage.

  17. Jeff Says:

    You may not have understood me correctly. Representative democracy with one vote per person is not, to my knowledge, a highly controversial idea in most circles. It may not be perfect but it is the best we have.

    I am unclear on what you mean by “this knows no borders.”

    I do not at all believe in theocracy. This denies freedom of religion, a foundational part of freedom if society is to work towards the common good.

    Yes, I can see that you do not understand the connection between the state and marriage– it seems that we do not share any common ideology of the state. My view of the state is based on its founding principles– that the state exists to manifest the common good; yours seems to be framed on something else. I believe that marriage does support the common good and so the state has an interest in supporting it.

    I also believe that the reason marriage has not been extended to same-sex couples has little to do with the common good but more to do with fear and biggotry. Therefore the state must include same-sex couples in the codified secular institution of marriage.

    Arguments about the sacrament of marriage within the church are completely separate.

    j

  18. queerunity Says:

    i agree, exposure is key, once you see the world has not frozen over it isnt that bad.

    http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

  19. Tandaina Says:

    Jeff, can’t believe I stumbled across your blog. I’ve been searching out ETSS blogs for a while now. (Sorry, not an on topic comment.) I’m pretty sure you must be the student I sat and had a great conversation with during the fall visitors weekend.

    Should be joining ETSS in August, looking forward to it, and to catching up on your posts here.

  20. Jeff Says:

    How exciting! Look forward to seeing you in the fall and having you on the site in the meantime!

    I’m doing my CPE over the summer and busy with that, so I probably won’t be posting much between now and August.

    See you after your New Student Orientation!

    j


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