So Al Gore has "changed his mind" about the whole gay marriage issue. After spending, according to CNN most of his v-p-hood fighting for the Defense of Marriage Act (an act named so as to sound benign, as though it is good for married people when in fact it is an attack on the civil rights of as much as 10% of any given population--and possibliy more in the US.
Al has seen the light, now that he doesn't have the camera lights pointing at him. Marriage, and gay marriage in particular, is not a religious, moral, ethical, or even value issue. The ability to marry--as far as any state should be concerned with it--is simply an issue of civil rights.
Marriage laws do not create, nor do they define, issues of sexuality and morality. Marriage is a set of laws pertaining to money, health, insurance and inheritance. The state has no say in who is or is not a family--take, for example, a woman living alone with her two children, or grandparents caring for their grandchildren because their children cannot. The state, in allowing marriage, simply has a say in who can be in the ICU, who gets to sign up with whom for health insurance, and who gets the house should the family member in whose name it is held should die.
Those against gay marriage claim it is a moral issue, with the now famous, "If we let homosexuals marry each other, then anyone can marry anyone or anything. Next, they'll want to marry animals, or children!" Hmm...what an odd argument. And yet, this argument is not a new one and homosexual marriage is not its first iteration or use.
Compare the above to this argument, "If we let women vote, then children will want the vote, too!" Next, Fido might ask for a seat in congress.
And yet the gay community has yet to argue for gay marriage in terms of civil rights. The argument currently in use is that two consenting adults should be allowed to pursue their lives as they wish--and they should. But until gay men and women begin to sue for the civil rights and create the next wave of the civil rights movement in this country, there will still be an extreme denial of those rights. Until those who believe in human and civil rights stand up and back our fellow humans in their right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, we will continue to agree to live in a country that claims to be progressive but is, in fact, stagnant.