On the topic of Random Meanderings...
You know, I typically post stuff here from the news or wherever, and make a small comment about an obvious observation or something like that... and I've been watching the news during the State Legislative season here, and it just seems to me that we should just simply (in a weak moment) assign the whole damn state over to the LDS church and forget about it. That's what they want, after all, isn't it? I mean, really, that's what they all want, deep down, right?
The majority of our house and senate in this state, since MOST are people who either ARE or WANT to be higher-ups in Church government, would be happy to see the state government as simply an extended arm of the Rules and Regs of the LDS church... simple as that, no more need to couch it in political correctness any longer. In fact we should just move the State Capitol to 50 east North Temple, and call it good. There are an astonishing number of people who would be thrilled at the prospect, I have no doubt.
But then I get my brains back, and, like thousands of other responsible people in this state, I just can't stomach the thought of a body of old conservative men who think that every aspect of one's private and public life should be a matter of legislated rules, be they simple moral issues, right down to how, when, and where we are able to make a living, who we live with, and what sort of social benefits should be available to the citizenry.
Therefore, I hereby doff my chapeau to all the people who take the heat, and strive for the equality that should be inherent to our lives in this country. Keep up the fight, keep doing what you know is right, and fight for the rights of ALL people, not just those who think we should all behave and think in a certain way. Diversity is the name of the game here, and it needs to be protected at all costs. Why should I have to behave according to someone else's overly moral value-set? Who says that way is the only right way? Why can't we simply allow individuals to behave as they wish, as long as the greater good of humanity is the long-term view?
I had a VERY interesting email conversation with a good friend of mine the other day. He doesn't live in this state, or even in this country for that matter, and he was just trying to wrap his mind around some of the social issues we face in this state, given the very odd "variable" that is the dominant religion. He was trying to figure out how to be "of" that dominant religion, and still provide a social atmosphere where all citizens are equally treated. These are hard issues to tackle, and the way is not always very clear.
He made a comment that stayed with me in a couple of ways. He noted that if we, as a society, make it okay for gays to be "married", or at least recognize that partnership for the purposes of social benefits, where, then, does the line stop? He noted that it could easily be a case of the camel's nose already in the tent, and we would then open the door to people who think it should then be okay to marry a daughter, or multiple people, or live a communal life with MANY people, or animals, or whatever. I noted that most of that stuff is already illegal, and allowing people of the same sex to have the social benefits of being allowed to make emergency medical decisions on behalf of their partner was not letting the camel under the tent at all. It is simply allowing everybody who is a citizen of the "tent" to be treated the same, even if they don't think like the majority of the other people in the tent.
Then he noted that his young son had said to him as part of an earlier conversation with his dad... he said that if you take all "those gay people" and put them on an island, and let them do whatever they want, and in 50 or 100 years they would all be erradicated from the mainstream society. I took it as the thoughts of a (thankfully) simple-minded youngster, but I asked my friend if he thought that if that "experiment" was started, if there would be a new subculture of that community surfacing in the mainstream community again... I claimed that indeed it would.
I don't claim to know how one "becomes" or "is" gay, but I *feel* like it has something to do with BOTH genetics AND societal influences. If you take that influence out of society, you will still have the genetic predisposition with some people. Bottom line is that you and I just can't make it go away. And really, why would you? These are good people who contribute to the fabric of our multi-layered community, here and everywhere.
So, bottom line, there are laws already in place, but I think some of them should be adjusted to allow social rights for same-sex couples to be afforded the same social rights as all other people who live their lives by the laws already in place. Polygamy, beastiality, and even marrying one's progeny or other relatives is already illegal, which it should remain. These are not the people of whom we are talking here, and I don't think legalizing this type of union allows any kind of camel under the tent. They're already in the tent, by virtue of their humanity.