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Sexuality not crux of Prop 2

Nov. 8, 2005

by TIFFANIE BLACKMON, columnist

With Proposition 2 standing firm as a major debate in American politics and the country's social evolution, I can't help but wonder how I define marriage and, more importantly, how my peers choose to define it.

Marriage is a weighty issue. It entails a religious covenant and a lifelong commitment between two people. Marriage is more than a gaudy engagement ring and the American Dream -- a house, a car and 2.5 children.

News reports and politicians have made clear that marriage is defined as a union legally recognized between a man and a woman. We, as a collective public, acknowledge that much. But what is marriage beyond the legal statutes?

In a democratic society such as ours, do we allow our government to define the union of marriage in such a way that it's allowed to dictate who we, as individuals, should be legally permitted to love and have legally recognized union with?

My concern is not about the sexual preferences of two people in a relationship considering a more permanent union. My concern is the lack of seriousness with which my generation has chosen to approach marriage.

A friend recently proposed to a girl he was dating. I asked if he was prepared for the commitment of marriage.

The look on his face while he thought of an explanation spoke volumes greater than the fragmented thoughts he tried to convey as an adequate response.

This attitude is one of the reasons our country's divorce rate is teetering on the 50 percent mark. When do we know that feeling of butterflies is enough to enter into a marriage?

When do we stop and say one couple meets certain requirements for marriage according to standards set forth by the government and another doesn't?

Marriages fall apart for various reasons -- monetary matters, infidelity, even religious beliefs. People walk away from relationships for what, in some instances, may be considered the wrong reasons. But people enter into relationships for as many ill-derived notions.

Marriage is not a feeble issue, but it seems those with attitudes similar to my friend's are treating it as if it were as simple as giving and taking away a promise ring.

When you go to mark your opinions today about Proposition 2, keep in mind, the issue is about marriage first and sexuality second.

Tiffanie Blackmon is a senior journalism and telecommunication major from Rockwall.