oh beezy

miscellaneous cultural commentary from two urban twenty-somethings. on this here interweb, we go by "bee" and "zy."

nyt op-ed compromises: left-right talks, or PR move?

Usually the latter.

So, I was going to compose some elaborate commentary on the resuscitation of indulgence-granting in NYC churches, but it’ll have to wait. Because this NYT Op-Ed has me riled up.

A “reconciliation” on gay marriage? What, like it’s an arms race? Give me a break.  Oh, but wait. Let’s just compose ourselves and listen to the Brookings-American Values “solution” to our messy national debate:

It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill.

But hold on! Don’t get riled up! You don’t know enough to be upset!

For those not immersed in the issue, our proposal may seem puzzling. For those deeply immersed, it may seem suspect. So allow us a few words by way of explanation.

Whatever our disagreements on the merits of gay marriage, we agree on two facts. First, most gay and lesbian Americans feel they need and deserve the perquisites and protections that accompany legal marriage. Second, many Americans of faith and many religious organizations have strong objections to same-sex unions. Neither of those realities is likely to change any time soon.

And so we should settle for civil unions and allow religious institutions to decide when to recognize them. Church and state–well, why not appeal to them both? Thank goodness Blankenhorn and Rauch have come up with this novel way to appease both moderate politicians and Prop 8 supporters and their ilk.  I didn’t want to have any more of those unhealthy, messy disagreements.  They explain it so well…

And while most Americans who favor keeping marriage as it has customarily been would prefer no legal recognition of same-sex unions at either the federal or the state level, we believe that they can live with federal civil unions — provided that no religious groups are forced to accept them as marriages. Many of these people may come to see civil unions as a compassionate compromise. For example, a PBS poll last fall found that 58 percent of white evangelicals under age 30 favor some form of legal same-sex union….When a reasonable accommodation on a tough issue seems possible, both sides should have the courage to explore it.

Except that this is bullshit. Appeasing evangelicals with a non-marriage offer is hardly courageous. I am not a half-person, and federal civil unions that can be freely ignored are just about as useful as permeable reproductive rights and mutable voting practices. When it comes to equality, there is no compromise.

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One Response

  1. […] Zy previously wrote an excellent post responding to the op-ed co-written by the two guys interviewed in the podcast. […]

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