Tonawanda News

Columns

March 19, 2013

LEFFLER: Do you really want Hillary Clinton defining marriage?

Tonawanda News — On Monday, former first lady, secretary of state and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton came out in support of gay marriage.

The part of me that supports gay marriage thinks this is a great thing. But the part of me that has watched with mild dismay over what the Clintons have referred to as marriage is a little taken aback.

My personal belief is that marriage is a covenant between the two parties involved and God … or the church, if you prefer. I have long believed that if a couple could find a church to pronounce them spouses, it makes no difference what the state or federal government thinks. After all, the state’s role in marriage is simply one of codifying that which is already true.

To further explain: If two men or two women could find a church to say that they are legally married, the state of New York (or any other state) should not have any sort of veto power over a legally binding contract. The state’s sole role should be to mark it in the books as being “so.”

As of late, the topic of gay marriage has gained support among not only Democrats but the public at large. In fact, a recent poll said that 58 percent of Americans now support gay marriage. To be honest, I find that number to be surprising. I am shocked to believe that that many heterosexuals would be willing to share their “right” to marriage with homosexuals. But it shows that as a society we are making progress on the compassion front.

My biggest issue here is that by Hillary Clinton attaching her name to this cause, she actually dilutes the notion in a sort of “guilt by association” manner. Because the Clintons marriage has long been believed to be more of a political partnership than a personal partnership, I fear that some who oppose gay marriage will actually hold Bill and Hillary up as an example of why not to support gay marriage.

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