Friday, October 27, 2006

Shooting Yourself in the Foot (Figuratively)

I have a lot of problems with the legal strategy embraced by the gay-rights movement. But even if you thought it was a good idea, after seeing it be counter-productive in state after state, don't you think an intelligent person would change tactics?

Gay-marriage foes get bad news they hoped for This will be sure to increase Republican turn out - there are 8 states with so-called marriage protection amendments on the ballot this fall.

I really don't know why people are so up in arms over this issue. Gays have had the legal right to marry in Massachusetts for sometime, and also in the United Kingdom for almost a year. What impact does that have on you? How does it cheapen your marriage?

What really cheapens marriage is quicky divorce Hollywood style. How many times was Liz Taylor married? Not that the number would cheapen marriage in any way.

All people want is the right to make medical decisions for their loved ones - power of medical attorney has been routinely overturned by courts when the parents of a gay person want to assert their position in defiance of that person's stated wishes. Guarantees that we can even be admitted to intensive care wards (family only don't you know). Inheritance, property, insurance, ...

But back to the legal strategy... Even when a state is leaning left in the presidential races, they can pass marriage amendments - a direct response to this legal strategy - by significant margins. Michigan passed such an amendment by 59%. Oregon passed one by 57%. These are not insignificant margins, and what is most important to note is that they passed in traditionally liberal states.

If you can cite a political strategy in the past 20 years that has been more of an abject failure, please do so. I can't think of one. In terms of its failure to achieve the desired result, and its ability to galvanize the opposition, this insistence on effecting change via the courts is without parallel.

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