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Bush Supports Cohabitation of Unwed Lovers
February 7, 2004
By David Rothschild

As I was thinking about Bush's drive for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, I became intrigued with a question that is never asked: what should two gay people do, if they do not get married?

Conservatives always argue about what gays should not do: they should not be able to marry, adopt, share benefits, visit each other when they are sick, have power of attorney, inheritance rights, joint custody, sex, or any of the multitude of things that constitute a heterosexual marriage.

Yet, conservatives never give good advise about what they should do: continue to live as unmarried lovers, attend religious conventions and be healed, be imprisoned, or be publicly branded? If conservatives are going to fight against marriage for gay families, they need to offer alternatives.

Today, the majority of Americans agree with the Republican stance (even though trends indicate that this issue will be a loser in the long-run). To make this a winning issue in 2004, progressives must first demonstrate how mean-spirited the Republicans are and, second, they need to force Bush to adequately explain his position.

Moral hypocrites everywhere will make gay marriage a fight to the end. They will denounce the death of tradition (as they commit adultery). They will evoke religion (not to quibble, but the Bible is not as definite on homosexuality as Reverend Falwell would have everyone believe). They will exhort us to think about the mental health of the children and the decline of the nuclear family.

To convince the masses of how mean spirited and hypocritical they are, progressives need to start with a few distinct families that demonstrate specific "heart-wrenching" examples for the public. The quickest path to tolerance is always through a family member or close friend (except for Dick Cheney who, defying reality, denies that he has an openly gay daughter). If someone does not know anyone who is gay (or at least out), then the best substitute is an example that resonates with her, and her life.

Picture a family of two gay parents and two biological kids (of one of the parents). The other biological parent(s) are out of the children's' lives (either deadbeats or surrogates). Now ask all of the tough questions: what happens if one parent becomes debilitated? Is the biological child sent to the deadbeat dad or foster care, away from his stable household? Would the children be better off being raised by single parents? Should the government advocate the inclusion of an abusive father to make the household "normal"? In sum, if someone does not want this happy and stable family to be legally bound (as more than half of Americans profess), what do you want them to do?

The easiest alternative to assume is impractical and immoral: keep the status quo. If someone does not approve of gay marriages, that means he believes homosexual marriage is so wrong that it should not be legal, even when it does not affect him. Logically, if he is against a legally binding family, an illegal family must be worse! Civil marriage is the most stable and domestic form of relationships, and the only "moral" means of two lovers to live together. It is unnatural for anyone to favor cohabitation of an unmarried couple if he is against marriage for them. Is George W. Bush actually advocating unmarried lovers cohabiting? That does not sound like family values to me!

The only logical alternatives are curing them of their gayness or banning them from living together. Using this logical discourse, the true bigots can be separated from the scared or confused or misled good people. While many millions of Americans would publicly endorse government sponsored programs to "help" gay people, millions more would see the folly of their prejudices when faced with this option (this counseling program should not be confused with Bush $1.5 billion program to provide Christian guidance, instead of job training, for struggling inner-city marriages).

The next time someone tells you that they are against gay marriage, ask them: what do you support? What should a gay family do, if not get married?

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