Op-ed: Keep Same-Sex Marriage OUT of Election
Much attention has been recently paid to the scant amount of attention both McCain and Obama are paying to gay issues. Indeed,with same-sex marriage amendments pending in three states (California, Florida and Arizona), the two candidates have been, for the most part, surprisingly mum.
I for one do not want gay marriage becoming the high-profile, lightning rod it was eight, and then again, four, years ago. And clearly after last night's Vice-Presidential debate, they don't want it to either. In a moment of awkward harmony both Palin and Biden were quick to say they supported civil unions but do not want and/or support a redefinition of marriage. There's enough mishigoss for them to discuss and debate (like, uh, the war, the economy); and without placing a moral value on which issue is more important than the other, gay marriage is simply reduced to an (un)welcome distraction that no one wants to deal with.
Why else would Tom Minnery, a senior vice president with the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, say, "We wish it were a top issue - it seems not to be." The extremists on the right love to have "moral" issues at the forefront (family values anyone?) because they can't build consensus within their own party on other, more concrete issues...and because they love to dictate how we should all live.
Conversely, there are those among us who want the gay marriage issue to be front and center for both party's agendas. And I can appreciate the desire to have a candidate articulate his stance - and hopefully his support of gay marriage - once and for all. But let's face it: it's a loaded topic, and it's one that has the power to completely overshadow all other substantive issues because of the passion it incites from all sides.
Think about it: what is the best thing that could happen if one of the candidates came out and unequivocally supported gay marriage? This alone would dominate headlines for the next month, drowning out intelligent discourse on all other subjects (including gay rights) and would once again reduce the election to a race simply between us and them, blue and red, sinners and the saved. I say go with the guy that you believe has humanity's best interests at heart, and therein lays our best hope.
What do you think? Do you want gay marriage to be front-and-center for Obama and McCain, or are you like me - happy for it to take a backseat for now and trust that the right man will do the right thing at the right time?
(Images courtesy of Getty)