Marriage can be a touchy topic in politics. Should homosexuals be able to engage in a legal relationship together, and live their lives with the benefits of a state recognized heterosexual couple? More often than not, this tends to be a partisan battle, with Democrats arguing in favor of same-sex marriage and Republicans arguing against.
The Maine Republican Party’s platform is an interesting case. It reflects an irony present in the party mainstream, which places marriage regulation at odds with their message of limited government. The platform itself places the contradictions together for easy reference.
VII. The family is the foundation and strength of a stable society; therefore the government should not interfere, but rather support and protect the integrity and rights of the family:
A. Promote Family values;
B. Marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman;
C. Parents – not government – are most capable and responsible to make decisions in the best interest of their minor children, including medical, disciplinary and educational decisions;
It’s fairly straight forward and it really doesn’t make any sense. The family is the foundation of a society, with the family being independent of government. But marriage is a certain way, as reflected by Republican movements across America to pass legislation and even a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Limited government? Hardly.
It’s difficult to take the Republican message of limited government seriously. Making the definition of family strength based entirely upon sexual preference is unfair. Is an abusive heterosexual couple better suited to raise children and be legally recognized as a couple than a loving, law-abiding homosexual couple?
It’s facts like these that get in the way of the traditional marriage message, which makes the Party itself appear close-minded and homophobic.
Evangelical Republicans like to equate freedom to associate with acceptance, and that’s hardly the case. Is allowing homosexuals to live their own personal lives happily together forcing a heterosexual religious couple to accept it? They don’t have to. If someone more religious is hateful, then that is their right so long as they don’t impair the freedoms of the homosexual couple or injure them.
This is what freedom is.
America has a tradition of freedom, but it isn’t without it’s negative marks. At the country’s founding, many people owned slaves and this was an issue the founders were afraid to touch for a long time. The result was almost one hundred years of human beings being born into slavery, deprived of rights and completely bound to horrid conditions of service. It took us another hundred years to bring the message of racial equality into a more serious standing in America.
Women didn’t get the right to vote for a century and a half after the country’s founding, and we still encounter government abuses of freedoms enshrined within the Bill of Rights.
Freedom is a work in progress.
Now we’re faced with the issue of homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals having equal rights. Why is this even an issue? Does a man liking another man make them less of a person? How about a female preferring another female? How about the member of one sex wanting to change themselves to another?
Evangelical Republicans like to preach biology and nature in terms of why LGBT is wrong. Homosexuality itself isn’t exactly unnatural however. Animals ranging from Dolphins to Swans have homosexual trends, as identified by researchers. It happens in nature.
Does that mean everyone has to accept it? Not everyone accepts everything about everybody, that’s life and we’re only human. But just because you disagree with something doesn’t mean everyone has to conform to your ideals.
If the Maine Republican Party will live up to the rhetoric of the Republican Party in general about freedom and liberty, it will strike traditional marriage from the platform. There is nothing small government about needing the government to specifically define what a marriage is, therefore restricting the personal actions of consenting adults together. If it does remain, then it shows those behind the platform to be mere hypocrites who do not believe in the message of limited government.