From the site Thinking Out Loud I have a proposed comprise on gay marriage that was occasioned by proposals from Jonathan Rausch and David Blankenhorn. The last paragraph of the post says, “If it’s a grand bargain we’re after, consider an alternative federal law prohibiting states from attaching legal significance to an individual’s marital status. The law would define “marital status” narrowly to include an individual’s relationship with a significant other as recognized by a religious organization. Likewise, the law would define “marriage” as the spiritual union of two individuals. Under this regime, legal benefits or obligations which traditionally flow from marital status would do so no longer. Instead, states could recognize and regulate healthy, stable interpersonal relationships by way of civil union, provided they do so equally and on a secular basis. Left for churches and other religious organizations are the religious and moral dimensions of “marriage.” Religious organizations will have autonomy over those aspects of matrimony in which they claim historical or divine province. That is, churches would be left to govern the sacred principles associated with the institution, and to ordain whichever marriages they see fit without fear of legal repercussion.”
I find this to be an unusual use of the word ‘compromise’ since the opponents of gay marriage would have to give up much in return for nothing. But the supporters of gay marriage would get most every thing they want and set the precedent of becoming the sole deciders of the terms of the discussion. Thus would 'compromise' become as devalued in meaning as 'bipartisan,' 'transparency' and 'most ethical congress ever.' A lack of respect for reasonable discussion has been demonstrated by many opponents of California’s Proposition 8 in their blanket description of all supporters of the Proposition as guilty of hate based solely on lack of political conformity: thus the word ‘hate’ is nearly striped of meaning in public discussion.
This s a huge, major and very big issue. It deserves long and reasoned discussion. And right now is not the best time to give this the attention it deserves. Too much focus is demanded by financial issues for this large an area of public policy to be treated as it deserves. My compromise: let’s table all action for five years and then see if we can give it the scrutiny and public discussion it merits. Now is not a good time to become overly defocused.