My Sunday post re: Christians and gays, with links to Christian writings re: not abandoning one's moral beliefs but showing individual love and compassion, triggered an alternately heated and throughtful debate. Like Armed Liberal in "Why I Support Gay Marriage, and Why I Will Never Be Angry At Those Who Do Not," I see the issue of "Gay Marriange" as but a subset of a larger societal problem called "marriage is broken." Or, to put it more exactly a problem called "how we treat each other and fail in relationships, with too few countervailing voices to negative/enabling influences and very serious societal consequences."
I've ripped the inadequacies of proffered manifestos, but not offered one. Then, in debate with celebrim and Raymond, I noted that it would be useful to have some simple but explicitly moral guideposts for society's discussions about desirable relationships and legal recognition structures. So maybe we'll start there instead. How about:
Points we will legislate, always: Consensual.
Points we will legislate outright or slant legislation to promote (via benefits or conduct penalties) when recognizing of permanent relationships: Exclusive. Stable. Loving/kind. Interests of children over adults.
Points we will advocate strongly as key pillars of society, and judge others by: Exclusive. Interests of children over adults. Loving/kind. Stable. Responsible. Unselfish.
Some absolute results of this framework:
- Animals and minors are off limits, period, under non-consent.
- Polygamy is out, under the "exclusive" stipulation.
- It argues for changing divorce legislation to favour stability more, under "stable" and "interests of children over adults".
- It argues for having clear divorce options and stronger safeguards re: abusive relationships (restraining orders are a sick joke), and continuing to attack them socially.
- It argues for penalties for morally egregious conduct. Cheating in a relationship ought to have real legal/financial consequences at divorce time.
- Parental responsibility is a big deal and focus. Deadbeat dads are a legitimate target (once the kafkaesque elements of the current system are removed as fundamental breaches of justice - i.e. you have to actually be the dad). So are moms who interfere with legal visiting rights. Put both under violations of "unselfish, responsible, loving/kind, interests of children over adults."
- Note that "perversion" isn't a criterion or interest except as it impinges on the key moral criteria.
- It's possible to be gay and fit all of the above criteria, though the public image of male "gay culture" will come in for strong criticism on the basis of the "exclusive, stable, unselfish, responsible" criteria.
- In this, they will be joined by some heterosexuals.
- We probably end up substantially revising the foster child system. Who actually benefits from that mess, anyway?
- If you want to adopt kids, you'd better show all of the desirable characteristics or we'll find someone who does - and political correctness will be fought as an impediment to the moral criteria, which take precedence.