For a lot of people, gay marriage is not an easy issue. I have a hard time understanding why, but I recognize that many Americans are deeply uncomfortable with the extension of the term “marriage” to homosexual unions, even when they are willing to countenance civil unions that provide the same rights. Americans were also uncomfortable with miscegenation, but we now recognize that the laws prohibiting interracial marriage were wrong and immoral.
Some argue that this is different — that while race is inescapable, there is nothing that requires an individual to enter into a homosexual union. But there was never anything that required people to enter into interracial unions, either — nothing but love and individual desire and the sacred right of each person to decide for herself when she has found the person she wants to marry and share her life with.
As with the random imprisonment of Arab-Americans and legal Arab visitors, as with the Patriot Act’s provisions for spying and harrassment, as with so much that this president has done, what we have here is a struggle between collective squeamishness and individual freedom. And as usual, George Bush Jr. has come down in favor of fomenting mass nervousness at the expense of personal rights.
Why would anyone expect any better?