I was driving back from the chiropractor this afternoon, and listening to the debate on gay marriage that was raging back and forth on that Ottawa bastion of open-mindedness, CFRA Talk Radio. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government’s proposed law changing the definition of marriage was, in fact, constitutional. Talk about a non-event. Anyway, CFRA’s callers ranged from the bored soccer-mom in Stittsville who observed that whether or not gay people got married didn’t impact her, to a crusty old codger from Kars challenging the host to explain how same sex couples would “consummate their marriage, because I sure don’t know!”.
The host on the show was interesting. He was fairly dismissive of all those who were against, and fairly tolerant of those who were pro-gay marriage. He himself claimed to be apathetic on the issue, observing that he was neither gay nor married.
His position was a cop-out. That cop-out is a position that many straight people likely feel comfortable adopting.
Straight people should be passionate about this issue. Gay marriage points to the very heart of what kind of a society we want to live in. Is our culture diverse, or homogenous? Are the institutions of our society inclusive, or exclusive? Are those institutions strengthened when they are broadened, or weakened? Are rights guaranteed to every member of society, or only available to a select few?
I know what kind of society I want to live in. Do you?
Further reading, for those interested: