Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Evolving" on the gay marriage issue.

It's become habit to come on this blog and ridicule Texas Lock Step Political Media for following one meme or another down the rabbit hole in the name of forwarding the dominant message of the time.  Many look at this and choose to dismiss it at "cries of liberal bias" but that's not really the point I'm making.

Well, OK, at certain times it's the point I'm making but not always.  The real problem with the TLSPM is that they don't often think outside the box on certain issues.  Almost all of them choose to view something from a certain perspective and anything that forwards the narrative is promoted to the exclusion of every other point of view.  This is why several members of the TLSPM chose to run incredulous accounts that Gov. Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz were in opposition to same-sex marriage despite the fact that an Internet poll had revealed that most Texans were now "for" it. 

Never mentioned was the fact that public opinion shouldn't matter to the SCOTUS, and there was no mention made of possible Democratic justification for their beliefs.  As a matter of fact, support or opposition of gay marriage has been divided down the lines of a principled belief in civil rights, or outright bigotry and hatred.  Is this a false dichotomy?  Of course, but it is the narrative that the TLSPM has chosen to forward despite evidence to the contrary.

Until now.

Granted, I'm not the biggest fan of Richard Dunham but he got this one right.  And when a reporter does get it right it should be pointed out.  The fact is that, as the polling has changed, many politicians stances toward gay marriage have changed.  The biggest examples of this are President Barack Obama and prospective Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Once the polling revealed a political advantage for support, the accolades were sure to start flowing in.

Ironically, many who have long-been supporters of gay marriage (on both the left and the right) are kind of being overlooked due to the headline (and page-view) nature of these "evolution" stories.  At this point it's also appropriate to discuss whether "evolution" is the right term to use.  In it's current use it signifies a significant step forward, moving up the evolutionary ladder if you will, but what we're seeing here is not an advancement forward in the name of freedom, but a realization that one's career could be toast without support based on the current political winds.

I've no doubt that the fervent, pro- or anti-gay marriage activists have come about their convictions honestly. I've long stated on this (and other blogs, forms of social media etc.) that I believe marriage to be a two-tiered contract with one tier being acknowledged by the State and the second being acknowledged by the Church.  You receive a marriage license from the State which becomes your marriage contract.  In many cases the Clergy signs that document which means that the Church has recognized the State contract as valid. Because of this I can find no Constitutional justification for denying same-sex couples to be 'married' in the eyes of the State.  If you choose to categorize this as "support" for gay marriage then so be it.

But the Church also has the right of refusal, just as they have the right of refusal for divorce.  This is why the authority to enter two individuals into a marriage union also lies with others outside of the customary institutions, Justices of the Peace, ship captains etc.  The worry, for me, is that, due to the framing of the anti-portion of the issue as 'hatre-based', attempts are made to remove the Church's right of refusal that has historically been in place.  John Kass of the Chicago Tribune lays out this argument more eloquently than I ever could and displays a perspective of the situation not found in Texas media, often presented by lesser journalists than he.

The problem here is that, even today, the TLSPM and the media control and set the narrative, and all to often it's the one that's in line with their personal political views rather than the narrative that actually is.  Because of this we are allowed only to see supporters of gay marriage as principled culture warriors with right and might on their side instead of the political opportunists that many are.  Conversely, we don't see any principle from anti-gay marriage activists despite the fact that their continued stance against is probably more based on principle than the other side.

Whether or not you're a pro- or anti- reporting of this type should discourage you.  Eventually you're going to be on the wrong side of an issue and it could be you whose cast as the hate-filled Luddite with anti-social behavior. For now, however, the TLSPM river is only flowing one way.

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