Friday, May 23, 2008

Ellen vs McCain, Love vs Hate

Ellen DeGeneres had John McCain on her show yesterday. What he says clearly demonstrates the absolute hypocrisy of the people who oppose gay marriage, who act as if they aren't damaging real people.
I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.

I like that (sarcasm). He just tells Ellen he thinks she should be a second class citizen without the full rights of other Americans but he says that's "respectful." There is nothing the least bit respectful about that, in fact it's about as DIS-respectful as it's possible to get. Then he says this:

Well, I’ve heard you articulate that position in a very eloquent fashion and we have a disagreement and I, along with many many others, wish you every happiness.

More hypocrisy, he wishes her every happiness EXCEPT the one thing she wants to do that will make her the most happy, the one thing every other American, including McCain has. Either he knows damn well he doesn't respect her at all and doesn't wish her any kind of happiness, and is just saying this because this discussion is awkward face-to-face, or he does respect Ellen and is just pandering to the right wingers in order to be president.

Which is worse?


Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin. Got your link from our OC discussion. You articulated my point precisely, and better than I!

Watching McCain's body language it's clear he's embarrassed by what he's saying to Ellen. The problem is he's not saying it for Ellen, but for his voter base. It's clear he is personally conflicted with what he's saying, but electionally impotent.


KevinBBG said...

Thanks for coming to check out my blog, Geoffrey. Yeah, McCain is just a political whore. He's flipped on just about every position he's ever held during this election in order to appease the far right base of his party.

I used to respect him, but that is long gone.

James Diggs said...


I like Ellen a lot, I would love to meet her. I also think Ellen did make a compelling argument. I can certainly empathies with her argument that the law makes her (and many others) feel like second class citizens.

Here is the problem though as I see it. What Ellen is asking for is for the state to go beyond just declaring legal partnerships and declare gay unions as having the sacred status of “marriage”.

Now this is not to say that there can’t be compelling arguments for why gay unions could not be considered sacred and given the term marriage; I am just not sure that government is really able to mandate any union beyond just it’s legality and declare something “sacred” one way or the other. So perhaps government has over stepped its boundaries by ever declaring any legal union, even heterosexual, a marriage.

Perhaps the answer is for government to get out of the marriage game all together and declare both homosexual and heterosexual unions “civil unions” and let marriage be determined in the context of peoples various religious and cultural communities.

This way everyone would have the same legal rights and at the same time allow diverse communities to determine on their own what would constitute sacred and marriage beyond just a legal agreement and partnership; and no one could deny them that.

Just a thought, I am just trying to honestly listen and look for ways where we as a diverse people can show one another love and respect. I would love to hear your opinion.



KevinBBG said...

James: The flaw in your argument is that there is nothing inherently sacred about marriage. If someone wants to get married in a church by a religious official they can but it isn't a requirement. Mt wife and I were married by a justice of the peace, nothing religious or acred involved in any way but it is still a marriage as much as any other.

Marriage has certain social contexts as well as legal ones. To refuse anyone to not be able to have it is discrimination, pure and simple. How would you feel if the government told you you couldn't marry the girl of your choice because she was of the wrong race or religion? Would being able to have a legal contract that gave you all the same rights but did not allow you to say you were husband and wife be the same?

James Diggs said...

You make a good point Kevin, however I do not think that sacredness is elusive to religion. I just meant it is that extra special something we consider (even in a completely secular context) that makes all such unions more than just a legal contract.

My point is I don't think government should be able to define any union beyond the legality of it for anyone. In your scenario for me then if government allowed the legal contract between me and someone I loved who was of another race, I don't think government would have the right to keep me from considering such a union marriage by me or my community.

Of course, if the government says one kind of union is marriage and another is not - like it does now - I can see how it is unjust. What I am saying is that government should not call any of it marriage and let whatever sociological communities people are a part of attach that extra meaning that goes beyond just a legal union if they so wish.

I think homosexual couples who want marriage believe that there is something inherently sacred (again not necessarily in a religious sense) about marriage when they want something more than just a legal union. Anything more than legal should not be defined by government for anyone.



KevinBBG said...

I think you should use a different word than sacred if you mean it in a secular mode, "special" perhaps.

But at any rate we might like to say what is between 2 people is none of the government's business but that isn't true, families are an important part of society, of which government is an integral part. Regulating specific legal interactions and legal rights between all the varies entities of society is an important part of government and one where we would have a lot of confusion if it didn't exist. In other words, I don't think it's possible or desirable to have government step out of the legal contract business.

The "sacred" you are talking about is that most people want marriage to be about love not merely a legal contract. To say certain people can't have that is a crime.

And it was only 1972 when interracial marriage became legal.