Sunday, March 2, 2008
Here's Barack Obama, off the cuff and without the script:
Obama restated his opposition to gay marriage, but asserted that he supported civil unions because "people who are gay and lesbian should be treated with diginity and respect and the state should not discriminate against them." He added, "If people find that controversial, than I would just refer them to the "Sermon on the Mount."
Now I understand this is a campaign, and there are some swing votes to appeal to. Heck, I'm a big fan of the Sermon on the Mount; Prabhavananda's Vedic reading of it, The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta, is among the most moving spiritual texts I've ever read. But is it asking for too much to expect a presidential candidate to refer people to the Constitution of the United States?
Meanwhile, as a practical matter, it occurs to me that supporters of gay marriage might get more mileage out of framing the debate in terms of contract law, rather than civil rights. Because in essence what's being denied, as much as legal recognition of the state of matrimony, is the right to enter into a legal contract. Which to the best of my knowledge, outside of a consensual slavery agreement, the government doesn't have the constitutional authority to do.