A couple of things strike me about the State Senate's defeat of the gay marriage bill.
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it a rule of thumb in politics that you don't force a vote on something when you don't have the votes? The bill lost 38 to 24 -- not even close.
If the objective was to force senators to go on the record, or to simply fight the good fight, well, mission accomplished. But at a steep cost.
My second thought?
For years, my thinking on the issue has been kind of mainstream -- for moderates and liberals, anyway. Civil unions are fine, but marriage goes too far.
But, over time, I've read enough about the trials and tribulations of gay couples who don't enjoy the benefits of marriage that we heterosexuals do to change my mind. If marriage is good enough for us, it's good enough for them. Plus, it just seems fair.
I thus find the rejection of gay marriage to be first and foremost, an act of bigotry, pure and simple.
Consider the definition: "Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own."
Yup, that's it, alright.
Those who oppose gay marriage think marriage is OK for people who look and act just like them. But not others.
Defending the institution? From what?
Commitment? Responsibility? A sense of family?
I can't help but note that the biggest hotbeds of opposition are located in "red country." This eye-opening graphic shows red states -- more than blue states, home to we godless liberals -- are populated by men and women who divorce, teenagers who have babies and people who subscribe to online porn sites.
But remember, it's those gays that are immoral and need to be stopped from marrying. I mean, if they were allowed to marry, they might keep doing it again and again, like you know who.
If you look at the steady march of progress when it comes to equal rights -- for racial minorities, women and gays -- it's probably just a matter of time before gay marriage becomes the norm. That's little comfort for those on the outside looking in, however.
At the end of the day, it's about fairness, about tolerance. And tolerance is a good thing, A very good thing.
It's one of the things that separate us from the guys we're sending 30,000 more troops to fight over in Afghanistan.