Monday, June 08, 2009


Someone I met at the cocktail party [see below] sent me this link on the latest wrinkle in the gay marriage debate [click here for the whole thing]:

Neither side of this debate has been true to their professed values. The “rites people” do not really care about the sanctity of marriage and the unconditional love and commitment to family values that such rites express and witness. They are “freaked out” by the love shared by two people of the same gender, so they offer a hysterical, angry view that gay marriages will somehow undermine heterosexual marriages and family values. If the “rites people” really believed society was better off when people committed to stay together, they would celebrate that more people in this country want to be in binding monogamous relationships.

On the other hand, the “rights people” are equally hypocritical. Rather than worry about the label of marriage, which evokes fiery opposition, the “rights people” should concentrate on ensuring that every single legal right straight married couples share is mandated for similarly committed gay couples. But as much as they care about rights, they are really “freaked out” by not having the affirmation of those who oppose them. They believe this affirmation will come with obtaining the legal right to call their relationship “marriage.” Instead of fixating on the rhetorical victory of the “marriage” label, they should focus on emptying the label of its content.
Rabbi Irwin Kula is the author of “Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life.” He is currently the president of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York City.

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