Thursday, October 2, 2008

The VP Debate: Do Gays Fit In "A Perfect Ideal?"

Together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.

John McCain and I share that.

--Governor Sarah Palin, 2008 Vice Presidential Debate

Here are my quick thoughts on tonight's debate. It exceeded expectations. I appreciated hearing that both Biden and Palin agree on their stance on gay marriage. On a side note, it was neat to watch the Biden and Palin families interact on the stage after the debate.

I'm feeling surprisingly good about the two vice presidential candidates after tonight. It was a relief to actually hear an attempt to explain, in a public forum, that the purpose of the Constitution is to grant rights and privileges and not to eliminate them.

Amazing the power of one word, no? This word, marriage, conjures up thoughts of two very intertwined concepts: religious ceremonies and civil contracts. It intertwines church (religious ceremonies) and state (civil contracts).

Not all religions are the same. Some religions are more tolerant than others. Some embrace and value their gay followers. Some allow their gay followers to become high ranking leaders in their organization. Some recognize the union of two loving people regardless of sexual orientation.

Due to the separation between church and state I will never understand why the church is able to waive a pen on the civil contract that is part of marriage.

Thank you for your tolerance Governor Palin. I think we want a little more than that:
  • We want the same access to that civil contract as heterosexuals do.
  • We want the legal protections and privileges that both church and state are able to grant at the stroke of a pen.
  • We want a Constitution that does not exclude and eliminate.
We want equal rights. We hope to be included in that perfect ideal.

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