Big day, today, in Canada. I hesitate to wade in on this issue because I have friends and family members I respect who have taken a principled stand on either side of it. And with every new anniversary of my own marriage, I'm forced to confess anew that, at the time, my comprehension of my marriage vows was rudimentary at best. But that's the nature of youthful declarations: you're so full of piss and vinegar, you're convinced you're capable of anything, even lifelong commitment to something larger than the ape within. And every year you experience at least one dull moment where you stop and think, "So that's what I meant ..."
Of course, true respect requires full disclosure. And so far as I have achieved it, here's my sense of clarity on this contentious issue: state recognition of same-sex marriage is an issue of civil liberties. Period. I know there are evangelicals worried this will somehow boomerang on them -- that the Liberals, or God forbid the NDP, could assign police squads to force Baptist pastors to do the unthinkable -- but Constitutional law is unequivocal, and coercion like that simply cannot be done without scrapping the Constitution itself. It's part of the same recognition of civil liberties I raised at the beginning of this paragraph.
My niece said it more succinctly, in a moment of exasperation. After being unwittingly exposed to evangelical hectoring on the issue, she walked away and said: "But it's not about them."
Still, let's make it about them for a moment. Evangelicals, like any religious community, profess to have clear definitions of marriage and family. Definitions aside, evangelical congregations experience roughly the same divorce rate as the "unsaved" society around them. Here's a chance for the gay community to be a beacon of light, a chance to demonstrate to nay-sayers that fealty to one person, to family and to society are imperatives we would all do well to commit to. Demonstrate the vows. Turn the stats on their ear, and prove 'em wrong, baby! Prove 'em wrong.