Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And now onto everyone’s favorite topic: Gay Marriage…

Recently, I’ve been asked about my take on this issue, particularly in light of the Canadian government’s efforts to legalize it (you can stop sending me news items on the subject now, Mother). Not being a religious person, I have no default position to fall back on in lieu of rational consideration of the facts. Instead, I turn to a question posed by radio talk show host Neal Boortz. To paraphrase Neal, I need only to ask myself, “How does gay marriage infringe upon my personal liberty?” After some thought, I concluded that it does not, therefore I am not opposed to gay marriage.

That’s not to say I’m head over heels in support of the idea either. The thought of two guys playing Hide the Hammer makes me want to gag. Then again, so do all those people who think defecating on each other is the epitome of tantalizing foreplay. Gay or not, that’s just sick and wrong! My feelings on that matter aside, the real question here is if the straight fudge eaters have the right to marry, why not the gay fudge packers?

Being a Republican, I have heard the well-worn prime argument against gay marriage, namely the preservation of the institution’s sanctity. Frankly, I believe that is a lost cause. Any sanctity marriage had left was diluted long ago with the loosening of divorce laws. The corollary argument that marriage is a key societal institution that serves to strengthen the family unit is a weak one, as well. People are free to marry at will regardless of their intent or ability to procreate. Our society has evolved to the point where people are not primarily compelled by some inherent drive to marry, nor are they subjected to pangs of shame when they divorce. Marriage is simply not the bedrock it once was.

The one valid point I have heard from my political simpaticos is that by opening the laws up to such a large redefinition of marriage there really is no turning back; the books remain open to further redefinition, ad infinitum. Who's to say that after Parliament passes this legislation there won't be calls by polygamist sects to further redefine the institution to include multiple marriage, as well? Gay Rights groups don't like this line of reasoning because they prefer not to be compared to polygamists, who many still consider to be deviant cultists. Deviant or not, the polygamists can lobby for their redefinition on the exact same grounds the homosexuals used. Just because the gays are better organized than the polygamists in promoting their cause doesn't make the polygamists' case any less valid. Nor does the fact that most people think polygamy is wrong. Polls show most people also think homosexual marriage is wrong, so why should the gays get to marry freely when the polygamists should not?

Are you happy now, Mom? In a few short paragraphs you’ve got me in bed with both the homosexuals and the multisexuals. What a weird week this is turning out to be.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I’ve been delinquent in attending to this blog of late, as it’s been nearly a month since my last posting.

It’s been busy the last several weeks, with mother in town and a slew of pesky home beautification projects underway. I’ll be listing my house for sale in about 6 weeks or so. The construction on the new house is moving along briskly, as is the price. My model has already appreciated 10% since February, and I’m certain the appraisal will show the actual appreciation somewhere in the 25% range by the time the house is completed this fall.

Having been raised in an area of the world where homeowners are lucky to see a 25% rise in value over a couple of decades, it has taken me some time to get accustomed to living in such a brisk housing market as Phoenix’s. Though I still think one should primarily approach a home purchase as a cost control measure rather than as an equity appreciation investment, I consider myself lucky to have switched to the latter strategy by jumping on the booming market bandwagon nearly 3 years ago. I expect things will slow down in Phoenix sometime over the next couple of years, but until then I’ll happily scoop up some plump equity gains.

The events of the past month have also brought some disappointment. I’m afraid my tenure as a member of the Arizona Young Republicans is over. In March, two factions emerged to vie for leadership of the organization, culminating in a bitter election battle heading into the June convention. Being closely aligned with the more sensible and less ruthless of the two groups, I unfortunately found myself on the losing end of the fight. Shortly thereafter, I resigned as head of the Phoenix YR chapter and openly questioned the new leadership’s strategy for the club. I was promptly rewarded for my candor by being removed from the Arizona delegation to the national YR convention in Las Vegas next month. I was also stripped of my status as a voting member of the club due to my lack of citizenship, a technical requirement of membership which had been waived until now.

Prior to my YR involvement, it had been several years since I participated in a grassroots political organization at a leadership level. I forgot exactly how petty the internal politics of such groups can be, particularly when dealing with recalcitrant and autocratic individuals. On the plus side, I met several smart, interesting people who I am proud to call my friends.

Oh, and yes, I am still going to Vegas. I won’t be at the convention, but I will be at the roulette tables.