Saturday, May 24, 2008

On the recent California Court Ruling Concerning Gay Marraige

This is the best commentary I've read on the matter.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I agree that Rabbi Kula's commentary is insightful and largely accurate. He seems to have a firm grasp of the two sides of the equation, as well as the role of government. However, while I have not been following the news on this matter too closely (I've been too busy with work), I fear that his criticisms of either side are a bit too all-encompassing and general. The language that he uses tends to damn the groups on either side of the issue without recognizing the diversity within those groups. While they may be minorities within their groups, there are people that recognize the mistakes made by the others within their group. I, for one, would be perfectly satisfied with civil unions, provided that they guaranteed all the same rights and priveldges of marriage.
The only other issue that I have with Rabbi Kula's commentary has to do with his understanding of the term marriage. Yes, in a post-modern age we should not be (and I am not) obsessed with employing this term for same-sex relationships. However, while marriage is label that has "historically/traditionally belonged to the religious domain," it is not, in our modern world, a term that belongs solely to the religious domain. Marriage has not lost its importance to the part of our population that has grown increasingly secular and many non-religious and even atheist couples are married. Furthermore, as marriage began to appropriated by the government, becoming a legal (as well as religious) institution, and as it became associated with government benefits, marriage ceased to be only a religious term. Now, perhaps Rabbi Kula can be happy with Separate But Equal institutions for the union of heterosexual couples and the union of homosexual couples, but I can understand the desire to make these unions equal in the eyes of the law, not only in benefits, but name as well, so as not to perpetuate bigotry and inequality in language. Perhaps it would be best to give the term marriage back to the religious sector; however, in doing so, it would only be fair to make all legal unions fall under the title "civil union", not only those between same-sex couples.