The vote in North Carolina was not close. Amendment One passed with 61% of the vote. This in a state Obama carried in 2008, albeit by a razor thin margin.
People who regularly attend church are much more likely to oppose gay marriage. The opposition is largely organized by evangelical groups and the Catholic church.
The reasons for opposition are realated to the breakdown of the American family. It is argued that by allowing same sex marriages that the already eroding family unit in a time when divorce rates and out of wedlock children are commonplace. It comes down to their main point that the union of a man and a woman is the necessary building block for a healthy society.
America is not a place where the nuclear family is universal. The amount of out of wedlock births has been on a steep incline for decades. Nearly 40% of all births in the United States are to unmarried women.
In addition, barely half of all marriages make it to 20 years. This means many children are living through a split family experience.
Supporters of gay marriage believe that same sex couples should have all the same rights as a heterosexual couple. That means access to employment benefits, health care decisions, pensions, and other benefits a married couple enjoy. That means same sex couples should get all the downsides as well including divorce, custody fights, and tax issues.
Gay relationships can be stabler and stronger than heterosexual relationships. They sometimes provide for a much better living environment for children as well than the broken or never formed homes elsewhere. That has been my antecdotal observation although there is selection bias since the bitter divorces realistically cannot exist in the same numbers.
Keeping same sex marriages from occuring will not change the culture breakdown in this country. Moral crusaders fail to stop pre marital sex from causing out of wedlock births. They fail again in stopping divorces. People, especially young people, make bad decisions and no amount of education matters.
Obama was wrong today when he said same sex should be a state issue to decide. Marriage is an institution that has to be recognized across states. It has federal implications in policy. It requires a national decision.
Adults should be allowed to make decisions when it comes to their life relationships. Marriage is a religious institution. It is the state that makes it a legally binding one. If two people want to plot a life together it is not clear why that needs to involve sexual relations at all.
Slippery slope fallacies can be used to attack the process of expanding the legal definition of marriage. Why not allow polyamory? An argument could be made that Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey could support multiple spouses and their children. So why not let them do it? See how far that goes with people who have been raised in the current moral atmosphere of this country. It does help to begin to understand the deep rooted opposition to gay marriage that exists.
Many employers and government entities are already recognizing same sex couples for benefit packages. The process has to be defined. It may need to be called a civil union to get away from the politically charged terms.
Opposing gay marriage is not going to fix our broken tax system. It is not going to make people more responsible for themselves. It is not going to solve our dependence on foreign oil. It is not going to make the environment better for business in the United States. And it certainly will not solve the real moral problems that infect our culture.
We live in a country with sexual and violent imagery bombarding the country every day from every media outlet. The idea that two people of the same sex falling in love and spending the rest of their life together is destroying us is laughable.
Lines move with time and moving the time to move the line with gay marriage has come. The public as aa whole despite the North Carolina vote is moving in the direction of acceptance.
Now, I do not believe that we need to provide special rights to gays as was recently tried in Anchorage. I also do not believe that we need special education on the contribution of gays in history as recently passed in California. Allowing rights does not mean infringing on the rights of others.
Many of my conservative friends claim that my position on social issues makes the rest of my conservative views less relevant. They do not get that their claims of moral superiority are a mirage in many cases.
It is time to see through this mirage and move on to policy that might actually save us. Let us hope this debate does not play a major role in the 2012 election.