Sunday, April 19, 2009

Same Sex Marriage and Republicans

This weekend's Log Cabin Republican convention raised some interesting points about same-sex marriage.

I grew up in burgundy state (Nebraska), which tries to exercise what I consider "common sense conservatism". (We have some Progressive Party DNA still floating around in both the Republican and Democratic parties, and our unicameral legislature is probably the best example.)

I currently live in an indigo city (New York) which is EXTREMELY tolerant of just about anything. (Our local past-time is complaining, but that's just a release valve which keeps us from slugging the idiot sitting next to us on the subway.) My political philosophy tries to be logical, so here are my thoughts on why Republicans should support same-sex marriage:

1) It encourages responsibility and a strong commitment between two people.

2) Two-parent families tend to be more stable and healthy than single-parent or separated families. (I'm speaking in generalities. My siblings have traditional and non-traditional families, and all of my nieces and nephews are well-adjusted and delightful children.)

3) Marriage stimulates the economy. (UCLA reports that gay weddings will add $684 Million to the California economy over the next three years.) Marriages require planning and registers and honeymoons. Marriage encourages home ownership, and new homes require large appliances.

4) Love is a strong theme within Christianity. To quote Christ, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35, NIV)

To those who subscribe to a strict reading of the Bible, well, I wonder how many keep kosher.

5) The Republican Party supports less government and less regulation. (Although the ideal and the reality is not always the same.) This is especially evident in the western states, where local citizens have a strong cultural DNA of self-sufficiency, where the government was typically days away. Interestingly, western states were at the forefront of women's voting rights.

Eventually, this whole issue will be determined by individuals. As usually happens, individuals will discover that the "other" person isn't much different from themselves. They may practice a different religion, or celebrate different holidays, or practice a different political philosophy, or speak a different language.

At least that's the hope. It's not too difficult for ideologies to go the other way.