Monday, July 25, 2005

Conservative and libertarian views on gay marriage :: Canadian Econoview


The social conservative in me has trouble with the idea of gay marriage, and the Anglican in me has not been particularly impressed either by American gay bishop Gene Robinson or by Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster BC, who has decided to approve the blessing of gay marriages in his diocese. Certainly not sufficiently impressed to be willing to risk having the Canadian church effectively cease to be a member of the worldwide Anglican communion as a result of the stances those two gentlemen have taken. Not that I'm that impressed with the intolerance of some African Anglican bishops on the same sex issue, either. . . . .

The libertarian in me could support having the government get out of the "marriage" business altogether, with the concept of "marriage" to be replaced, for legal purposes, by a concept of civil union, which would primarily be an economic relationship, covering such things as rights of inheritance and survivorship, and assignment of entitlements under pension and health plans. Marriage would then be the province of religious bodies and would have no legal meaning, referring instead to a service in which the blessing of the creator, however envisioned, would be invoked for a couple entering into a union. The nature of the couples eligible for such blessing - homosexual or heterosexual - would be a matter for the members of individual faiths to decide, and the government (including human rights tribunals) would have no say in the matter.

1 comment:

Patrick Kimball said...

My Gay Marriage

A recent newspaper headline proclaimed: "Canada
OKs Gay Marriage." I wonder what took them so
long. I had a gay marriage that lasted for 53 years.
And it was solemnized by the chaplain at West Point
under decidedly gay circumstances, with parents
and friends attending.

Well, perhaps the marriage was not always gay. But
we did have New York, and we did have Florence, at
each end, and in between coped with all the concerns,
problems, heartaches, difficulties, and tragedies that
married flesh is heir to. But we never lost that touch
of gaiety that characterized the early years.

My gay partner lived life to the fullest, leaving on an
early flight to a better life to join a departed daughter
and twelve dogs. She told everyone that "I'm 75 and
I've had a good life!" She cherished all the gay
moments in her life.

Only one prayer in the BCP blesses those who are gay --
as graduates, newlyweds, parents of a newborn, etc. --
"those who are characterized by exuberance or
mirthful excitement":

"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or
watch, or weep this night, and give your angels
charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord
Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying,
sooth the suffering, pity the afflicted, SHIELD THE
JOYOUS; and all for your love's sake. Amen."