So, there was a woman from the HRC and one from the Family Research Council. Overall, I found the debate a little lackluster. The bias of the audience was obvious, and that got in the way, at some points, with inappropriate applause when a good, or even sometimes a lackluster, point was made on the side of pro-expansion-of-marriage-rights. And I was a little disappointed by both of the debaters, neither of whom, I thought was as strong as they could have been. I'm particularly interested in hearing a cohesive argument AGAINST same sex marriage, which the FRC woman didn't deliver (but I recognize that I might very well not be impressed even by a cohesive argument since I'm coming from such a different base-level understanding of the question(s)), and, although the HRC woman eventually found her stride, I found her a little weak, too. Neither argument was presented very well, and lots of different but related questions were conflated in the attempt to "win".
All that said, I'm glad I went. And I've been thinking a bit about it all. Some interesting points were made, including the amusing one from Ms. FRC who said that the law doesn't discriminate against homosexual people: it equally prevents heterosexuals from marrying someone of the same sex. Which is true, and yet somehow ridiculously intentionally obtuse.
Clearly, the main issue is this concept of "redefining marriage", and, of course, the whole problem of homosexuality and how awful that is. Not to mention that old, "think about the children!" thing. I think I need to go back and look at some old newspapers or some such and see what they say about, for example, the arguments pro and con regarding legalizing interracial marriages. Ms. FRC presented the issue as though nothing so threatening to the concept and definition of marriage had ever come along (well, maybe no-fault divorce laws are right up there), but I suspect that all of the major changes in the "definition" of marriage over the years have caused similar uproars.
But now I'm reading an article in Salon that says:
""On the same page, we may have pictures of two guys over here, and a guy and a girl over there. And we can be glad that they all found happiness, but this couple over here just is not the same as that couple over there," says Glenn Stanton, author of "Why Marriage Matters," and senior analyst for marriage and sexuality at Focus on the Family. "The implication, however, is that the two pictures are morally equal, which means that either the male or the female member of the heterosexual couple just didn't matter -- they matter as people, but the deepest part of their humanity, expressed in their maleness or femaleness, is diminished. "
And my questions are:
and c) is my femaleness really the deepest part of my humanity?