Friday, February 10, 2012

Sanctity of Liberty In Marriage

Another same-sex marriage ban overturned, another appeal in the wings – where does it end? What if you were told you could not be with a certain person, someone to whom you are attracted and wish to share a life? How would you react? To quote Spock (the Vulcan, not the doctor), “If I were human, I believe my response would be, ‘Go to hell.’ If I were human.” That is exactly what is occurring in this country concerning same-sex marriage – one group, who is least affected by it either way, dictating terms of lifestyle to another group, whose only recourse is to protest against the dictates of the former. In the process, individual liberty is being trampled.

Is it not boorishly archaic to deny certain members of our society an equitable desire that the rest far too often can take for granted?

As a red-blooded, heterosexual American male with a moderately conservative lean – albeit, in the vein of classical liberalism – any individual insecurities toward homosexuality are those to deal with privately. At one point, I was morally opposed to the mere notion of same-sex marriage; I was also closed-minded. Oddly, as a person with a science-oriented mind (specifically, anthropology), I have never had a problem with it. Practically every species that engages in sexual behavior includes some form of same-sex relationship; it is natural and part of the natural world. Humans, as members of that natural world in spite of our “civilized” ways, are in no way different.

Forget any personal, socio-political stance though; look at same-sex marriage from an economic standpoint. A means for raising state and federal revenue without actually increasing the burden on current taxpayers – while also limiting government in our daily, personal lives? Add people to the rolls, i.e. married same-sex couples, that are otherwise excluded from the marriage tax bracket. While not a panacea, several independent studies have illustrated that implementation of same-sex marriage has a beneficial boost to the economy at all three levels – federal, state and local – both in the short and long term. From the wedding ceremony to associative spending – purchases on gifts, travel accommodations and tourism – it can stimulate business and generate sales taxes that otherwise would remain stagnant.

Seems like a scenario any fiscally-minded politician, pundit or taxpayer should be willing to support.

There is also the economics of “family.” In an unprecedented era of marital disillusionment, incompetent parenting and broken homes, there needs to be a shift in thinking on the constitution of a stable nuclear environment – even if that means giving new connotation to Kate & Allie or My Two Dads in the definition of the modern family.

In a previous post, I laid out the case, without condoning or condemning, for the State’s right to ban same-sex marriage. Though strongly opposed to any encroachment on individual liberties – including same-sex marriage, due to a more enlightened view – I still hold that argument valid from a legal standpoint. Yet, the countless disgraceful heterosexual examples that work against the “sanctity of marriage” argument has made many, including myself, re-think that position. But until there is a binding national declaration either for or against, the back-and-forth fight between opponents and advocates will continue at the state level. Ultimately, there are more pressing issues facing this country than the personal matters of two consenting individuals. It is time we as a nation become more enlightened to that idea.

©2012 Steve Sagarra

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