Thursday, October 30, 2008

Freakonomics Takes on Gay Marriage

Noted economist Justin Wolfers (who does very interesting workonthe economics of happiness) has a moving essay on gay marriage at Freakonomics:

It wasn’t meant to be political.

In fact, Saturday night, while beautiful, was pretty conventional: two of my dear friends from graduate school were getting married. They are fellow economists who have spent 18 years together; they have supported each other through their careers, each has followed the other to different cities, and they provide each other with support in their personal lives.

The only difference is that Jed and Eric are both men.
In many respects, their wedding followed the script I’ve celebrated as my other graduate school buddies have married. Friends and family were assembled, and the lucky couple were excited and busy hosts, making sure that all the details were in place.

But there were differences. The timing of their wedding had little to do with the progress of their relationship. It is pretty unusual for a couple to wait 18 years to marry. But in this case, their choice reflects the fact that they were legally unable to move ahead until the California Supreme Court ruled that the state’s Constitution recognizes their right to marriage. And they were forced to rush their wedding ahead of next week’s election, as a ballot initiative (Prop 8) seeks to take away this right by amending the constitution.

And so circumstances dictated that their love and their wedding, while being intensely personal, was also somehow public and political.

. . .

The thing that struck me about their ceremony was how viscerally it changed my own feelings about gay marriage. I had always supported gay marriage, but it was an abstract, intellectual support; now it’s personal. And so a friend’s wedding became, for me, the most compelling political event of the year.
Here’s an interesting thought: How has the recent wave of same-sex weddings changed the political landscape? There have now been thousands of same-sex weddings, each enjoining scores of invited friends and family to re-examine their thoughts and feelings. There’s a pretty good chance that one of these folks might be the pivotal voter on Tuesday. And I suspect that this is a much more motivating political force than the tens of millions being spent on political advertising.


Read it all here.

7 comments:

Gary said...

Homosexuality is a perversion of sex. Homo marriage is a perversion of marriage. Actually there is no such thing as same-sex marriage. God condemns all such perverted wickedness. And God also condemns all those who applaud homosexuality. That isn't just my opinion, it is Bible doctrine.

tz said...

Gary, your comment has no relevance to this post. No one's religion or religious beliefs should determine public policy. This nation was founded on the principles of freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Love it or leave it, baby. If you can provide some sort of example of how same-sex marriage negatively affects you that isn't directly or indirectly related to religion or your religious beliefs, then please, go forth and vote accordingly. If not, then perhaps you should let God do the judging and leave the politics to those of us here on Earth.

Gary said...

tz,

NO, I refuse to leave public policy and law to those who hate God and refuse to recognize morality.

Same-sex marriage is a direct attack on my religion and my freedoms. If pervert marriage is legal, it will not be long before the state will want to require me to recognize this perversion in some way, probably through anti-discrimination laws. I refuse to recognize homosexuals in any way and I insist on the right(God given) to discriminate against homosexuals (and their defenders and enablers).

tz said...

Gary,

Go for it. Discriminate all you want. But our great nation was founded on the notion that you nor anyone else can write their theology into public policy. Like I said, love it or leave it.

Gary said...

tz,

Legalizing same-sex marriage is writing theology into public policy just as much as legally prohibiting same-sex marriage is. Anti-discrimination laws are writing theology into public policy. There is no such thing as moral neutrality. There is no such thing as theological neutrality when you are dealing with moral issues, and same-sex marriage is certainly a moral issue.

Your idea that I am writing theology into public policy, but you aren't, is just not true.

Michael said...

TZ, just accept the fact that Gary is a poster child for the green monkey syndrome.
http://muninn-quotheraven.blogspot.com/2007/01/rascist-no-i-just-hate-them.html

There are quite a few Americans around who still think like a Rhesus Monkey. I find this frustrating and sad.

Gary is not homophobic, he just hates them. God bless his heart the poor little devil.

SR said...

Hey Gary, hope you're still reading this!
Just thought I should say, I'm impressed by your dedication to God. I myself went to a Catholic private school for ten consecutive years. I spent years upon years going to Church thrice a week and attending ever religion class.
And I'm a lesbian.
I'm also pretty sure God doesn't hate me.
You have no right to judge or condemn anyone, or have you not read that we are all created equally?
Coexist - give peace a chance.
- SR
P.s. - Separation between Church and state.