Saturday, November 04, 2006

The roots of the anti-gay marriage movement

Quebec, my home nation/province, has a logical approach to state-approved marriage. It is a legal process run by the state. The blessings of a church, cult, coven, commune, tribe, union, club or other entity are optional.

The domains are distinct. The cult may approve polygamy and the state approve gay marriage, and each may disagree with the other. The state, mercifully, is far more powerful than the cult.

It is worth pointing out that Quebec was, until about 30 years ago, a true theocratic state -- somewhat like Iran. There was nothing in North America* the US and Canada like Quebec in 1950. Things changed quickly.

In the US marriage is a mess. One root of the gay marriage wars is a battle between state and religion about relative roles and power. That's a big and ancient battle, and the growing number of areligious and non-christian voters suggests how this will turn out.

The other root is of a personal nature:
Another GOP Sex Scandal - Yahoo! News

... Haggard, like his fellow Christian soldier James Dobson, also happens to be a leading opponent of gay marriage and an ardent critic of an amendment on the Colorado ballot November 7 that would give same-sex couples equal rights under the law and a supporter of another amendment that would prohibit gay marriage in the state. He's called gay marriage a 'sin' and 'devastating for the children of our nation.'

It's a routine that's won Haggard praise since as far back as 1993. 'During services at the New Life church,' the New York Times reported back then, 'Pastor Ted Haggard warns against the evils of homosexuality and adultery. His followers respond with exuberant clapping and shouts of 'Amen!' and 'That's right!''

In 2004, he led the push with Dobson and other religious right leaders for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Haggard's accuser, male escort Mike Jones, decided to finally speak up because 'I felt like I had to take a stand, and I cannot sit back anymore and hear [what] to me is an anti-gay message.'
Ted Haggard, like so many other homophobes, appears to have been battling his own personal "demon", namely homophilia. He's not the first to translate self-loathing into other-hatred. I wonder what the numbers are. My guess is that self-loathing, and in particular fear of one's own homophilia, is predominant among the virulent male opponents to gay marriage. Not every opponent mind you, mostly the ones who froth at the mouth.

* I caught this mistake myself. The land mass of NA currently includes, of course, the nations of the US, Canada, Mexico and a couple of French islands. Mexico in 1950 may have been like Quebec in 1950, I don't know much Mexican history.

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