bush provides best arguments for gay marriage

As I sat here on the futon reading a column by Jonathan Rauch on nytimes.com, I pointed it out to Jeff (a few days ago he had noted another upcoming Rauch article in the Atlantic, which he was reading at brunch today), who mused as he pulled it up on his own laptop about this being in some way the modern equivalent of the stereotypical couple reading the Times together in bed Sunday morning.

Anyway, in today’s Times article, “Power of Two,” Rauch points out that in calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, Bush actually “established himself as the most prominent advocate of the best arguments for gay marriage, even as he roundly rejected gay marriage itself.”

Rauch dissects the salient points of Bush’s statement, showing how “[t]he logic of Bush’s speech points clearly toward marriage for all. It is this logic, the logic of marriage itself, that Bush and other proponents of a constitutional ban defy in their determination to exclude homosexuals.”

It’s a provocative and intelligent article. One thought of Rauch’s I particularly like is the following: “So today’s real choice is not whether to redefine marriage but how to do so: as a club only heterosexuals can join or as the noblest promise two people can make. To define marriage as discrimination would defend its boundaries by undermining its foundation.”

Those who would “save” marriage from gays, then, may be the very ones dooming the institution to irrelevance in a world of civil unions, domestic partnerships and other such legal options available to both straight and gay couples.