I should reiterate this: Unless stated otherwise, the opinions expressed on this blog belong exclusively to me, Lamar White, Jr. I am writing this to prove my own inherent unelectability in the State of Louisiana.
Yesterday, I was informed on another website that Louisianans, outside of the New Orleans area, could never be elected to any office if they voiced their support for gay marriage and freedom of choice. Notwithstanding my criticisms of the construction of this argument, I opine the following:
1. I fully support the right of gay and lesbian couples to enter into legally-binding agreements ascribing the very same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples who become legally wedded as a testament to their commitment. I believe that the purely rhetorical debate over the word “marriage” is preposterous, but, at the same time, I also contend that the “sanctity” of marriage cannot and should not be proscribed by a government agency. Because of its nature, literal definitions, and hermeneutic interpretations, I believe the act of “holy matrimony” or “marriage” should be bestowed by a religious institution. Notably, both terms, in their naked religious context, carry absolutely no political application.
As a society, we run into conflict whenever we attempt to conflate religious sacraments or rituals with legally-defined rights. Certain religious faiths and denominations recognize homosexual marriage, while others do not. It is not and should never be the role of government to become an arbiter of the validity of a religious ceremony. The government’s refusal to recognize the inherent civil rights of gay and lesbian couples to enter into the same type of legal arrangement as heterosexual couples is demonstrably unjust and, in my opinion, should be considered unconstitutional, a violation of the separation between church and state. And, even from a strict constructionist perspective, such legal discrimination, which is religious in nature, violates the notion that the government cannot create or sponsor a certain religious faith.
2. I do not believe that anyone else should be required to accept my own metaphysical beliefs on the nature of life. I respect the diversity of opinion about this issue, which is probably the most vexing, painful, and complicated topic in human thought. As someone who appreciates history, I fully understand the terrors that can be inflicted in a nation unwilling to provide safe alternatives, but as a student of religion and a believer in the sanctity of human life, I can’t help but recognize the validity of the counterarguments. I believe that abortion should be the rarest procedure in the world, yet I understand that we all live in an imperfect world with imperfect people– and that, despite my own protestations and beliefs, it would be presumptuous and imperfect for me to demand that others live under a categorical imperative built on my own beliefs. I recognize the human experience is too complex and too burdensome to demand that.
I reject those who attempt to suggest that being pro-choice is analogous with being pro-abortion, and I find such an argumentative construction to be devoid of human empathy, understanding, and experience. I have never met, read, or listened to someone who is pro-abortion. Although I have encountered people who, perhaps due to their own emotional and intellectual immaturity, have allowed themselves to become devoid of empathy and compassion for a gestating fetus, I recognize that their immaturity and ignorance should not be understood as the backdrop of this incredibly difficult issue, as a way of essentializing the painful struggle that so many others must confront. And, again, I believe this is always a painful and gut-wrenching decision, as it should be, yet this freedom– the freedom to make this difficult decision– is provided and protected by the Constitution’s right to privacy.
There, I said it. I guess I can never run for office now.