Opinion

Commentary: Personal biases, gay marriage and legal marijuana

Kelly McAllister, left, and her wife, Marci Burba, both of Sacramento, attend a gay rights rally protesting the passage of California's Proposition 8 at Cesar Chavez park on Nov. 13, 2008, in Sacramento, California. (Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee/MCT)
Kelly McAllister, left, and her wife, Marci Burba, both of Sacramento, attend a gay rights rally protesting the passage of California's Proposition 8 at Cesar Chavez park on Nov. 13, 2008, in Sacramento, California. (Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee/MCT) MCT

I support gay marriage and oppose the legalization of marijuana in California.

Does that make me a flaming liberal, a conservative prohibitionist or schizophrenic?

Please keep your labels to yourself — and your biases. Names are what we call people when we can't win an argument.

Denying gay marriage and promoting legal marijuana are losing arguments when stripped of emotion and measured against the law.

While they represent different constituencies, the anti-gay marriage forces and the pro-pot people share vital flaws:

They are driven by hyperbole, are short on details and long on rhetoric. Denying gay marriage seems to be in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution and the guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Approving marijuana for recreational use would put California alone among states in direct conflict with federal law.

The anti-gay marriage people and the pro-pot stoners both wrongly make tradition the centerpiece of their arguments. The marriage folks cite the Bible and speak of procreation as the bedrock of society.

That's an insult to married couples who are infertile or choose not to have children.

The argument is purportedly based in love and faith but one that spiritually segregates people who don't have kids from those who do.

As a Catholic heterosexual with a wife and kids, let me state for the record: Gay marriage does not affect my marriage in the slightest.

In the recent federal trial where the statewide gay marriage ban was struck down as unconstitutional, these arguments were exposed as flimsy. Judge Vaughn R. Walker would not be swayed by scare tactics and Bible passages used to pass Proposition 8 in 2008.

In the marijuana debate, the pro-pot forces play games when linking their cause to the plainly misguided era of alcohol Prohibition.

There is no basis in history to compare marijuana with alcohol.

Humans have fermented alcohol from the beginning of time. At marriages and in Sunday Masses, we toast the bride or drink consecrated wine. We don't spark a joint.

Proposition 19, the November initiative to legalize marijuana, is simply bad law.

We're not ready to police drugged drivers. Employers have shaky protections to deal with stoned workers. And the idea of taxing marijuana for profit is a joke because Prop. 19 includes no mechanism to do so.

It's all smoke, like Prop. 8. In striking that law down as unconstitutional, Walker wrote: "The evidence showed that domestic partnership is an inadequate and discriminatory substitute for marriage."

The Constitution is there for a reason – to protect us from humans driven by bias and self-interest.

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