The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
We had a tight match-up this week and ties in both categories.
Among the Council, the votes were evenly split between Joshunpundit’s: North Korea Beats The War Drums and Gay Patriot’s: Random Thoughts on Gay Marriage, and that means I get the opportunity to endorse Gay Patriot’s fine essay on same-sex marriage as this week’s winner!
It’s a well written take on the issue from a common sense point of view… here’s a slice:
A college classmate recently posted on Facebook about gay marriage. And when I found myself weighing in, I offered a response a bit longer than I had anticipated. It’s organized as are most of my post, more in the form of random thoughts, but since I took some time crafting it, I thought I would share with with you, slightly amended with links added:
As perhaps the only gay person on this thread, I must note that I have long been decidedly ambivalent on gay marriage, in part because many gay marriage advocates seem more interested in winning the culture wars than in promoting the institution and in part because of my studies of myth, psychology and anthropology and the longstanding human recognition of the importance of sex difference. And marriage rituals of every culture (see van Gennep) are based upon bringing together individuals from different groups.
In my grad school paper for my Native American class, I researched the legends of the berdache, or two-spirit. Many cite the berdacge tradition as an example of cultures which accept and embrace homosexuality and same-sex relationships. And while many American Indian tribes recognized same-sex marriages, they all required one partner in such a union to live in the guise of the other sex. Thus, if one man married another man, one would wear men’s clothes and go hunting with the “braves” while the other would have to wear women’s clothes and live as a “squaw.” The one who lived as a woman could not go hunting with his same-sex peers nor could he participate in activities, rituals etc reserved for his biological sex.
Sex difference in short has long been inherent to the notion of marriage.
That said, I believe, states should — at minimum — recognize gay relationships as civil unions. And perhaps the ideal would be for the state to simply call monogamous relationships “civil unions” (for all people) and let churches, synagogues, private individuals, etc. call them marriage — or whatever they want.
It doesn’t bother me that the state doesn’t call same-sex unions marriages. What does bother me is cases like Edie Windsor the woman who brought the DOMA challenge. Because that law prevents the federal government from recognizing her marriage, she, unless the court finds in her favor, would have to pay over $300,000 in taxes on her late wife’s estate. Had the state recognized the union, that estate would pass to her without penalty as the surviving widow. (Side note: we wouldn’t have this issue if we didn’t have estate taxes, but that is another matter.) It’s ridiculous that she should have to pay that amount on what was essentially her own estate.
Now, back to my point about sex difference and the meaning of marriage. Over time, the notion of marriage has evolved. And we should allow it to continue to do so. Constitutional amendments interfere with organic processes; they prevented elected legislatures from addressing the issue. And oftentimes, they (i.e., legislatures) do a good job of recognizing the concerns of opponents — and seeing the issue in a broader cultural context.
In our non-Council category, the tie was between Victor Davis Hanson’s: Is The Country Unraveling?, submitted by Joshuapundit about what California is becoming and a wonderful piece by Thomas Sowell: How Guns Save Lives, submitted by The Razor. Tough choice and you owe it to yourselves to read ‘em both. In this particular case, I opted for Professor Hanson by a nose ,probably because living in California as I do, I can see what he’s talking about first hand. Simply pitiful.
Okay, here are this week’s full results. Only Gay Patriot was unable to vote this week, but was not subjected to the usual 2/3 vote penalty.
- *First place with 3 1/3 votes! Gay Patriot – Random Thoughts on Gay Marriage
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Joshuapundit – North Korea Beats The War Drums
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – The Right Planet – Freeflowing On Tyrants
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – The Noisy Room – Google Honors Cesar Chavez on Easter
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Rhymes With Right – I Really Didn’t Want To Write About The Obama Girls’ Vacation
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Bookworm Room – When to marry? When you find true love — not shallow infatuation or mere passion, but true love
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Razor – Why Laws Banning Unrestrained Pets Are Misguided
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Glittering Eye – Chicago’s “Flash Mob” Violence
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Political Commentator – Cast Your Vote: Whose rhetoric is more believable, Barack Obama or Kim Jong Un?
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Iran’s Navy
- *First place with 3 1/3 votes! – Victor Davis Hanson – The California ‘Mordida’ submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Thomas Sowell – How Guns Save Lives submitted by The Razor
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Via Meadia – OK, Now We’re Worried submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Edward J. Erler/Hillsdale College – The Second Amendment as an Expression of First Principles submitted by The Right Planet
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Mick Hartley – The UN Steps In submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Abu Muqawama – The Limits of Proxy Warfare in Syria submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – American Thinker – The one question about immigration reform no one asks submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Gates Of Vienna – Keeping a Close Eye on the Right Wing, Part 2 submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – SooperMexican – NO Illegal Amnesty Without Border Security: Reject Any Rehash of Reagan’s Immigration Error submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Daily Beast/Megan McArdle – Health and Human Services Secretary Doesn’t Understand What Insurance Is submitted by Bookworm Room
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Michelle Malkin – Academia hearts the Weather Underground: Kathy Boudin at Columbia and NYU submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Stratfor – Beyond the Post-Cold War World submitted by The Political Commentator
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!