The Fargo Forum’s Gay Marriage Cop Out
After a week of insufferable grandstanding, including an announcement that they were going to make an announcement on the matter, the Fargo Forum has finally announced their position on publishing marriage announcements from gays.
Except, their announcement is not much change at all. The Forum, which editor Matt Von Pinnon laughably describes as “one of the longest-standing and most trusted institutions in this region” whose “position on such matters is viewed as a bellwether,” will only be publishing announcements for weddings held in states where gay marriage is legal. All of which are hundreds of miles outside of the border of North Dakota (Iowa would be the closest).
There’s no word on how the Forum would handle the announcement of a civil commitment ceremony.
Cutting through all the self-congratulatory back slapping, this is worse than their previous position which had the paper refusing to publish any gay marriage announcements at all. At least that represented some sort of a stand on the issue (even if it was the wrong one, in my humble opinion). Instead, the Forum has punted the ball, asserting that the definition of marriage be left entirely to the state.
Which isn’t how it should be. Marriage licensing is an ugly hold over from a more bigoted age. Many don’t recognize this today, but originally marriage was an almost entirely private matter in the United States. Something for churches or even just the individuals themselves to define, with the state merely recognizing common-law marriages whether they had been ratified by a church or not. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the states began to require marriage licenses, and one of the biggest motivations was to block interracial marriages.
Just another social engineering program from Big Government.
If the Forum wanted to take a strong position on the marriage issue – and you would think they would have given how hard they marketed this announcement – they would have questioned the very notion of marriage licensing in the first place. Instead the newspaper, even as they congratulate themselves for being oh-so-forward-thinking, is perpetuating an archaic and hurtful sort of law.
America was better off, I think, when the state simply recognized common law marriages.Tags: fargo forum, gay marriage, North Dakota News