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Hidebound proposal

As if all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming presidential election were not enough, Michigan voters also face a proposal to amend the Michigan Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The amendment would limit marriage to heterosexual couples and prohibit recognition of similar unions as well. It is designed to limit the possibility that courts would find a right to marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples in Michigan, as they have in Massachusetts and Vermont. [â??Gay marriage ban headed for passageâ? by Dawson Bell, Detroit Free Press, October 2, 2004]

Even though there are voices of reason out there claiming that same-sex unions donâ??t threaten their own marriages and that people should be able to make their own choices as long as they donâ??t harm others, there is still very strong support for this proposed amendment. And, this support comes primarily from churchgoers, men, and voters older than 34.

One choice comment from a 65-year-old retiree:

"It's just not right. A man and a woman make children," she said. "Two men don't make children."

I see. We should all adopt her suggestion that the purpose for marriage is to somehow sanctify procreation? What about a man and a woman who do not make children due to infertility or choice? Should they be allowed to get married? Or would I lose too many to cognitive dissonance with a question like that?

And then, there are the almighty-preservation-of-institution backers:

Support for the amendment among Catholics, which the poll found was quite strong, is based on the notion that alternative forms of marriage will undermine the institution, said Rev. John West, a moral theologian for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

"Marriage between one man and one woman is part of the basic structure God built into human nature," West said. "The church didn't create marriage; neither did the government."

Great. Letâ??s pin it on â??God created it soâ? according to some convenient, surefire literalist interpretation of a manmade compendium of scripture. How is it again that same-sex marriages undermine their institution? Too loaded a question? And the implications surrounding the â??human natureâ? comment, not to mention theocratic suggestions, are possible fodder for discussion.

â??Let anyone with ears to hear listenâ? to voices of reason and compassion. And vote, vote, vote.

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