So tomorrow is Election Day, the culmination of a 2006 midterm campaign truly for the ages, with as much mudslinging as one possibly could imagine. It’s a sure sign the stakes are astronomical.
South Carolina’s not quite so much in the heat with the critical Senate races, and our red districts are likely to stay that way (though I’m going to try my best to change this), so we haven’t really seen too much. The governor’s race is the usual “he voted to raise taxes 23482342377423 times” and “he hates education blah blah blah” that we’ve seen in the last couple races. Here in Charleston, I’ve seen some ridiculous ads for candidates for the Charleston County School Board with atomic explosions and such. It’s utterly ridiculous.
The most ridiculous thing about this 2006 election, at least for issues I’ll be dealing with, is the infamous Marriage Amendment referendum, which would effectively limit the only type of recognized union between two people as licensed marriage between a man and a woman. This eliminates not only gay marriage but also common-law marriage, a man and a woman living together but not being wed yet, etc. It’s an incredibly broad amendment. Any chance of same-sex couples attaining any type of civil union will be pretty much gone, barring a major shift in ideology of the South Carolina government and another constitutional amendment.
I guess my question is why people feel so threatened by two people of the same sex wanting the same legal rights as others who are in a heterosexual union. I just don’t understand this one. It seems to be an issue of semantics; the government has adopted the term “marriage” from a legal standpoint, and I’m not sure I agree with this. “Union” seems to be a better legal term; let’s leave holy matrimony to the churches. If there is a church out there that wishes to marry a gay couple, I don’t see why anybody in government should have a problem with this, either. It seems that most of the opposition to gay marriage comes from a religious and not a legal standpoint, and I have a problem with this, because if a bloc is going to use their religious views to impose their legal will on people who may not share those views, then we run into some serious questions of equal protection and an endorsement of religion, and that just isn’t right.
Folks, let’s not legalize discrimination tomorrow. Please, say no to the Marriage Amendment.