To the death of marriage

Today, the Vermont senate voted to allow same sex marriage. It still has a step to go as Governor Jim Douglas has indicated that he prefers the civil unions that Vermont currently supports. I’m not sure if this means he’s going to sign it since it passed by an overwhelming majority nor does it appear that the legislature would move to override any veto. As noted in the article, this would be the first state to recognize same sex marriage without the prompting of the state judicial system actually reading some of the discrimination laws the legislature passed.

This headlight reminded me of an article in Time I read a couple of days ago about getting the government out of the marriage business. I can’t possibly agree more with this position. As the single most controversial connection with the  religions of this country, it is past due for the government to drop its interest in something so intertwined in spiritual and political semantics.

The basic goal would be reduce it down to the benefits that couples (gay or straight) seek to provide their partners. Leave the word “marriage” to the churchs, synagogues, and mosques; it is a word whose definition is loaded with spirituality. If a church wishes to perform a marriage, fine; if not, fine as well. It is not the domain of government to dictate the rite of marriage in the church, nor should the church dictate who can become a legally bound couple outside of it.

Although, I will confess, the taking of the word “marriage” from the legal document would hurt. I was married in a church, so the spiritual aspect is there for me. But to have the marriage license seemingly boiled down to a civil union boilerplate document (which it really is already if you think about it and how many have been issued) feels a bit off.

But, then again, sometimes doing the right thing can feel a bit off.

And so it begins

I read a lot of blogs. It started as a work assignment at the library. I was collecting political websites to gear up for the presidential election. And, naturally, no actual questions actually materialized. In fact, I don’t think I had any patrons even remotely come close.

In any event, I got to collecting blogs in my Google Reader. These were the best of the bunch, the links that when I clicked on that didn’t make my head explode in one way or the other. I’ve added a few since, taken out a couple, but they have mostly stayed the same.

The political blogs are the widest collection that I read. They run the whole gambit from conservative to liberal to progressive to whatever other political stance buzzword they have out there. I like them all, even when they are posting or saying things that I don’t agree with. In fact, I might like them more in that case since it puts me outside my comfort zone. I get to mull over the points, digest the meaning, and come out with a new or refined belief. I think the questioning is what makes the arguments stronger, what makes it so I can argue both ways, and what makes me really think about what is going on.

Of course, there is an insane amount of “white noise” in political blogs. The petty issues can stymie any sort of actual conversation with the petty bullshit that prevents us from truly moving forward as a people. And while there is some blame to sling around, the real blame falls to everyone: those who partake, those who allow, those who abstain, and all who don’t call shenanigans on it. But sometimes, sometimes, you get lucky and find something that you didn’t know, whether it is about yourself or the world around you.

The second largest contingent of blogs are all library based. Being a librarian (or, the technical term for a male librarian, a “guybrarian”), I like to keep up with the news and trends. A news feed from Google News and LISNews along with some other smaller blogs covers the territory nicely for me.

Beyond that, it’s all the light stuff. Cartoon strips (Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield without Garfield) and World of Warcraft blogs make up the true time wasting end. Well, ok, they aren’t complete time wasters, but fun stuff after all the dreary political crap.

And so, here I am. I started a public blog before and then just let it die. I maintain a LiveJournal because all my friends are there. But with the advent of Facebook and Myspace, there is just too much social networking crap. This is a public journal, a soapbox, a place where I can jam my note into a bottle and toss it out into the sea of the internet. For, in my experience, people just want to be heard by other people. It is less about trying to bring someone over to your side as it is tryng to get your viewpoint out there.

And so it begins.