received a political email forward today which contained at least one statement I do in fact wholeheartedly agree with:
"But the meaning of marriage – how it is defined and who defines it – is tremendously important for our entire society, because it has implications that go well beyond the desires of two consenting adults."
The italics are mine, because that is indeed what I see to be the central struggle: how it is defined, and who defines it.
The power of defining is, as this statement suggests, a political one. And in this country, which at least attempts to place political power in the hands of a broad constituency rather than concentrated in the hands of a few (rich white male) persons, the power of defining ideally belongs to everyone--more accurately, all citizens (leave aside who has the power to define "citizen," although that question truly gets at the heart of the difficulty of inclusive democracy, and the immigration issue in this country puts that front and center, yes?).
Which means that "the power to define marriage" is (again, ideally) a collective power shared by all citizens. And as long as you're honest enough to admit that there are in fact gay people who are American citizens, then you ought to be honest enough to recognize that they too are (ought to be) included in the "who" who gets to define things. Including marriage, which as this statement at least implicitly grants, is a social and political institution in addition to being whatever else you might believe it is.
Or, you're claiming they're not a "who." They're a They.
And as Horton would remind you: "a person is a person, no matter how small; a person is a person is a person, after all."