Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

What Harm May Come?


Today I was reading an article on Yahoo!News about the president’s announcement that he believes that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry entitled Gay marriage, Obama and the fierce urgency of now: Why did he do it this week?.  I say, “why does it matter?”  I tend to get more caught up in the ridiculous comments than the actual articles anyway.  Most of them are to the effect of:  “it’s the votes, stupid”.  So Obama changed his mind about the issue for votes?

I decided to do a little research of my own. According to this UCLA study less than 4% of American population identifies themselves as gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual.  A quick google search revealed studies with even lower numbers.  The lowest number I found was 1.7%.  So lets just say somewhere between 1% and 4% identify themselves as part of that group.  Interestingly when polled a quarter of the public said they believed that number was significantly higher – 25%.

The President chose a controversial, politically charged issue to “change his mind” about just before a major election for relatively few votes?  To what effect?  I would have thought that the majority (not all, of course) of those who make up the LGBT community would have already held their alliances with the Democratic Party.  To what end would President Obama have made this announcement, at this time?

The article referenced suggested it was money.  If the LGBT community has money to give to a candidate, and they already identify with the Democratic Party, wouldn’t they have already been giving their money to the Obama Campaign?  And who in the world thinks that the same-sex marriage issue is the most important issue of this campaign anyway? Not even the LGBT community. So, again, I ask what does Obama have to gain?

Now about those ridiculous comments.  I went back to try and find one in particular that struck me.  Someone had commented that (and I paraphrase because I couldn’t find it) with 70% of Americans firmly against same-sex marriage this amounted to political suicide.  Where did that statistic come from?  Again, a quick google search revealed the following:

August 2009 LifeWay Research Poll: 61% of those who were born between 1980 and 1991 agree with same-sex marriage.

2012 Gallup Poll: 50% of Americans support the legalization of same-sex marriage

2012 Pew Research Poll: “A slim majority (52%) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and 44% oppose. The survey also found religious liberty concerns were active among a subset of those who oppose same-sex marriage. When Americans who initially oppose same-sex marriage are asked whether they would support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry if the law guaranteed that no church or congregation would be required to perform marriages for gay and lesbian couples, support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry increases 6 points, from 52% to 58%.”

If these polls are any indication the legalization of same-sex marriage is on the horizon.  But why?  Remember that only 1.7% to 4% of the population identifies as LGBT.  I would suggest that the rest of us have begun to recognize what the fundies who spout all their religious garbage in the comment section have failed to:  same-sex marriage has no effect on the sanctity of marriage.  None.

The sanctity of marriage can only be upheld between two partners who espouse the view that their marriage is sacred.  Marriage is not even sacred if only one of the partners believe it to be. Why?  Most likely the partner who feels that their bond with their mate is not sacred will do something to violate the covenant.

If there were only one couple in the entire world who believed that their marriage was sacred, it would be.  The fact that no one else believes that would make it no less so. To whom is marriage sacred?  It is sacred to two individuals who decide to make a life together in partnership with one another in good faith and covenant together to set that relationship above all others with honesty and integrity.  Is it a god who makes a marriage sacred?  I submit that it is not.  It is the people in the marriage who make it sacred.

Merriam Webster defines sacred as:

a : dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity <a tree sacred to the gods>
b : devoted exclusively to one service or use (as of a person or purpose) <a fund sacred to charity>
a : worthy of religious veneration : holy
b : entitled to reverence and respect
: of or relating to religion : not secular or profane <sacred music>
archaic : accursed
b : highly valued and important <a sacred responsibility>

Heterosexual couples have not cornered the market on relationships which are unassailable, inviolable, wholly devoted exclusively to one another, revering and respecting one another, that are highly valued and important.  Try as they might to convince themselves and others that God is the one who has defined it as between one man and one woman Christians would have to admit he sure has done a lousy job of sanctifying it.  Christian marriages fall apart at the same rate as non-Christian marriages.  One in two fails.

Will allowing same-sex marriage suddenly and radically alter the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBT?  What harm may come from allowing this relatively small percentage of the population feel human? Is that going to cause some mad rush on heterosexuals getting divorced?  Newsflash:  that’s already happening.

It’s time to dump DOMA.  It’s unconstitutional.  It is nothing short of religious in nature.  For anyone out there reading this who is against same-sex marriage, I leave you with this:

Join the evolution! 14 Steps That Will Evolve Your Views on Gay Marriage

4 thoughts on “What Harm May Come?

  1. I heard the trite explanation that it was for votes, and I thought that was pretty pathetic of newscasters to suggest that.

    Wow! I am really shocked at that one pole that people thought 25% were GLBT. What kind of world do they live in, in their little heads?

    If it is for votes, it’s not for the minority vote, but the majority who agree with permitting same-sex marriage. This is definitely one case where the majority is right, even if they’re left-leaning. 😉


  2. It’s also worth noting that this is a HIGHLY generational issue. The split seems to be that a clear majority of people under 40 support marriage equality, while an equally clear majority over 40 oppose gay marriage.

    My take – worth exactly as much as you paid for it, mind you – is that Obama’s personal views probably did evolve. It probably hadn’t been something that he felt needd to be done right now, until he started to give it some real thought and decided that the current situation was profoundly unfair.

    Politically, I think this A) isn’t too much of a risk for Obama at present, and might even become an asset if it renews enthusiasm among younger voters (who were one of his big demographics), and B) represents a chance to position the Democratic Party as the one that aligns with the interests of the next generation of voters.

    The short version is that I don’t have any reason to doubt that the President is sincere about his views, but I also think he has good long-term reasons for expressing them very publically right now.


  3. I really don’t know what the President had in mind politically….but I support his position.

    You said
    “I would suggest that the rest of us have begun to recognize what the fundies who spout all their religious garbage in the comment section have failed to: same-sex marriage has no effect on the sanctity of marriage. None.”

    I agree with you 100%-after 20 odd years of hearing the scare tactics that the “homosexual agenda” was taking over our schools and “forcing” alternative lifestyles on our children, people see it for what it is…scare tactics.

    As my children were younger and in public school, I kept looking for and guarding against any such influences. Guess what I found…..nothing….nope, not a single thing. By 5th grade my oldest still didn’t even know what it meant to be a homosexual. And this was in California-supposedly the “left coast” of all things evil and liberal.

    Now that I’ve completely dropped my Christian homophobia outlook….I’m amazed to watch some of these preachers and politicians trying to use the same trick to scare people into voting their way on the issue.

    Sorry guys…I won’t be fooled again!


  4. I think Obama said that because it was the right thing to do morally, although not necessarily expedient politically. I’m curious to know how this will affect black voters who are statistically against homosexuality.


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