Rep. Erik Paulsen favors a national constitutional amendment, so as to impose a new restriction on citizens' freedom to enact the laws they prefer. On this issue, Mitt Romney stands to Paulsen's left, as Romney--who also favors the Federal Marriage Amendment--supports granting adoption rights to gay couples.
I have the sticker--shown above--on my car. I'm down with the community. And yet I sense we're engaging in a bit of dishonest rhetoric, within the present political narrative.
The left position on this issue flirts with hypersentimentality. For example, the Walker Art Center has traditionally stood for avant-garde thinking, aesthetically and politically. Coming of age in the Twin Cities, I observed the Walker cleaving to a stony silence on marriage. Many Walker-sanctioned artists equivocate with regard to the connubial institution's purported bliss--and some entirely decorous elite artists do not support matrimony at all.
The Walker cheapens its hard-won identity engaging in this kind of political cheese:
As an institution committed to both free expression and fairness, we stand behind couples—straight, gay, and lesbian—who wish to express their love and commitment for each other through marriage. Because of this unequivocal value, the Walker Art Center proudly joins with cultural organizations across our state in endorsing the Minnesotans United for All Families Campaign, which is working to defeat the marriage amendment that will be on the ballot in November 2012.Let's cut the crap: Marriage is not simply a way for a couple to express love and commitment. It's a way for society to place significant pressure upon individuals to stay in relationships they'd prefer to exit--and to incentivize the continuance of certain politically-favored monogamous-appearing unions. In exchange, it's a way for couples to attain bourgeois respectability and social status.
Maybe society needs to dangle such rewards before romantically-attached young people, in large measure to promote procreation and ensure the stablest possible home environment for children. But--having been down the aisle twice myself, each time disastrously--let's not kid ourselves: Feeling considerable ambivalence about marriage is an entirely upright position.