Today the Gray Lady is running a front-page (digital-wise, at least) profile of Ruben Diaz Sr. and his stance against gay marriage. Diaz uses the classic, "But I have [insert group you are prejudiced against here] friends! I can't be bigoted!" defense. It didn't work for Justin Barrett, and it's not too convincing with Diaz, either. Simple logic points to the fallacy of Diaz's argument that his stance against gay marriage is nothing personal.
Let's take a look at the outrage that occurred when a justice of the peace in Louisiana would not marry an interracial couple. The justice, Keith Bardwell, ended up resigning after being excoriated in the media. But what Bardwell did is the law of the land in the majority of American states when it comes to another type of marriage. Two men or two women cannot marry because of their (unchosen) sexual orientation. Yet when justices of the peace or other civil servants refuse to marry two people of the same gender they are following the law, not shamed into resigning from a post they never should have held in the first place.
So let me float this scenario by you: I'm a relatively well-known figure in New York and I say that while I don't hate interracial couples, they just should not be allowed to marry. Don't get me wrong, I hang out with interracial couples, I even have family members involved in interracial relationships, but to say that they could get married would force me to "turn my whole value system upside down." Again, it's nothing personal, I just think that they should be barred the right to marry because it's in the Bible (Deuteronomy 7:1-4). If I were to say that as a well-known figure in New York I would be run out on a rail, rightfully so.
But replace "interracial couples" with "homosexuals" and you have Ruben Diaz's argument. So why is it wrong to discriminate against interracial couples, but not homosexual couples? And to go even further, why does voicing your opinion against one get you a prominent, not unsympathetic write-up in the New York Times and the other makes you a relic of America's errant segregationist and racist past? To say that intruding on others' lives in order to bar them from making a very personal decision (one that many people look forward to in life) is not personal is inherently contradictory and irreconcilable, kind of like saying allowing gays to marry would somehow injure American society. Peace.
Photo - Ruben Diaz Sr. (New York Times)