This sort of shallow philosophy seems particularly appealing to vacuous celebrities. Having enjoyed life without the need for negotiating the real world they often tend to give meaning to their lives through the adoption of causes and philosophies that rarely merit serious attention from the average Joe, and are in fact often mystifying or even repugnant to his more grounded sensibilities. Imagine my surprise when the wisdom of the common man was seemingly endorsed as his official position by none other than the flamboyant Elton John. Pardon me, Sir Elton John.
In itself, parroting the sensibilities of the non-radical mainstream does not seem so noteworthy, even as an aside from the normal lunacy of the celebrity left. On occasion, even the rogue leftard (celebrities in general, not necessarily Sir Elton) can get it right, recalling the sensibilities passed down from parents of the previous generations. What made this particularly interesting is that Mr. John actually took a moderate position regarding an issue you would think near and dear to his heart, that of gay marriage.
The article I reference stunned me somewhat. Rather than being treated to the absurdities of the common Hollywood mantra concerning the topic, Sir Elton said nearly the very things I, and I believe even most moderate Americans would have said: Marriage should be left to the heterosexuals, civil unions are an acceptable and appropriate equivalent for homosexuals.
For years now we have endured constant efforts by fringe lobbyists and idealists to wear us down on this issue. Hollywood has made sure to inject pro-homosexual programming into our entertainment diet, laws have been universally enacted to categorize sexual preference alongside of more legitimate (and often illegitimate) protections and advantages based on race, and efforts to indoctrinate our children early on with propaganda masterpieces such as "Heather Has Two Mommies" are repeatedly foisted upon our helpless children through an enthusiastically compliant and incompetent public school system. This is not paranoia, friends, it is reality substantiated by fact. It is not a radical understanding based on fear (the liberals love to charge any opposition on this subject as "homophobia", which we are expected to treat as dangerous, if not as motivated by outright hatred), it is one rooted in a balanced sense of reason.
Now I agree with Sir Elton completely, based on his statements in the previously mentioned article. The institution of marriage is for heterosexuals. One man, one woman. That is how the whole thing was designed, to honor the natural union of the two. And despite objections which cite social trends and anomalies such as high divorce rate and alternative relationship structures, marriage itself is still regarded as a sacred institution. Let me say that word again: sacred.
Marriage has a long history and is correctly identified as the cornerstone of our civilization, no matter how much we may like to dabble in "alternative" historical perspectives and radical sociological theories. Our society is based on the respect for this natural arrangement. Therefore, it is not the place of a fringe group to undermine its sanctity by imposing its own self serving counter-intuitive definitions on a system that has established itself just fine without them. This is the hijacking of something intensely sacred to the majority, and these attacks should rightly be held as highly offensive and with utter contempt. It is akin to forcing the Catholic Church to accept and teach Wiccan doctrines, absolutely indefensible and intellectually repugnant.
On the other hand, while it may be the place of government to acknowledge and even revere such civilizational cornerstones, it is not their place to prohibit free relationships of others. Gays are justified in their complaints against a system that does not fairly address their relationships. For instance, there is no good reason why the government should employ discriminatory tax codes against recognized long term homosexual relationships. Gays should have all of the rights and responsibilities of their heterosexual married counterparts. But to successfully implement this, Civil Union cannot be left as a theoretical option, it must become a requirement for some benefits, much the same as marriage.
For instance, there is no excuse why a legitimate partner should be denied access to their ill or dying mate in a hospital. But, just as a "boyfriend" does not merit the same classification as a "Husband", so it must be with homosexual partnerships. Anyone claiming to be a boyfriend should not carry the same access privileges as a civilly recognized partner.
In short, marriage is a sacred institution designed for a particular group, and it should not be trespassed against and violated by another group that desires similar advantages, real or perceived. But we must also recognize the inherent rights of individuals to seek relationships that bring happiness and fulfillment to their own lives (within obvious limits). If this happens to be in a same gender committed relationship akin to marriage, then we are morally obligated to modify our system to accommodate the legitimate recognition of said relationships. If, in all respects other than gender, a couple is relatively identical to a traditional marriage, then they should merit the same rights and responsibilities as a married couple. This is easily achievable through a Civil Union model.
So again, my point is one of balance. Both parties in this argument have valid claims that must be respected. It is not right to disrespect the sacred relationships established by two persons, regardless of gender. But it is also not right to undermine the sacred institutions of the majority by forcing the redefinition of them to accommodate a select few who do not fit the model upon which the enterprise was established.
As a point of clarification, in my mind it is not the place of the government to define relationship structures. I believe that they have no right to infringe in these highly personal matters. Whether heterosexual, homosexual, monogamous, polygamous, or otherwise, the role of government is to accommodate the people, not define them. It is their job to create systems that reasonably address the just relationships of these peoples. So as far as I am concerned, even plural marriages should have some legitimate recognition in our legal structure. Therefore, it is more than obvious that we should do the same for our homosexual citizens. Strike that, it is not that we should, it is that we must. But that in no way means we should violate the sensibilities of the majority to do so by savaging the things revered by them.
Although perhaps not for the same reasons, Sir Elton had it right. This is the sensible middle ground that respects all while meeting their needs.