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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Do three straw men have a right to marry?
Just today I commented to a friend on how pleased I was that Washington State law clearly outlines that marriage is definitionally between a man and a woman. But today a judge here has decided that, regardless of what the law says, anybody can get married to anybody else! Fortunately, the judge stayed the decision, giving the Washington State Supreme Court a crack at it. Ugh.

In the decision, the judge, William Downing, sets up three straw men as defenses of marriage as it is defined and then--gasp!--knocks them down. His straw men are:
"Morality requires it." This is, of course, silly. Morality is certainly the main reason for marriage existing as it always has, but no one uses it as a legal argument.
"Tradition compels it." Close to the truth, but in framing it as a question of "tradition" versus "new stuff," he avoids having to deal with the fact that marriage isn't traditionally between a man and a woman, it is definitionally between a man and a woman.
"The institution of marriage is threatened." And here his previous error is multiplied. When I say "the institution of marriage is threatened" in the context of gay marriage, I mean that it is threatened by the work of activist judges who feel they can change the definitions of words at will. Changing marriage to include anyone who wants to marry anyone else will destroy marriage, because what we call marriage will no longer be so. Other times, I mean it is threatened by the degradation of morality in the world. Downing only sees the latter meaning, never comprehending the former, because he is the direct perpetrator.
Let me expand on my views on marriage. Marriage is, by definition, a life-long covenant and legal contract between a man and a woman. (The "life-long" bit has nearly been destroyed already, and I'd certainly fix that if I could. But at least we pay lip service to it.) If you change the definition of marriage to be "a life-long covenant and legal contract between any two people," then you have simply replaced marriage with something else.

Here's a very flippant example. Let's say a school was going to have a Sadie Hawkins dance. But some liberal teacher decided that, no, only having girls ask guys to the dance would be discriminatory, so anyone can ask anyone to the dance. You can't legitimately call that a Sadie Hawkins dance, and you can't legitimately call something "marriage" when it could include me and my friend Rob just as easily as it could include me and my fiancée Lorraine.

This brings me to the reason for my ire on this. I am getting married on Saturday, in Washington State. In fact, I got my marriage license in King County, the very county where this Justice Downing presides. I'm none too pleased that the legal contract I'm about to carefully and prayerfully enter enter into is about to be unraveled by a few liberals who just happen to be judges.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!

Ew...let's leave Rob out of it.
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