IBJOpinion

Hicks: Let's debate gay marriage in our homes

Mike Hicks
November 23, 2013
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Mike Hicks

I have written that the marriage amendment is a poor use of our legislators’ time, but I believe we should have an honest discussion about the matter. Here is what I will say to my kids:

I will tell them that constitutions are mighty things that bind us together in ways that should not be subject to fashion. We Hoosiers mustn’t become too cavalier in amending ours; the major public-opinion shift on gay marriage ought to be sufficient to give us pause. I will tell my kids that in this matter we must be ready to be judged right by future generations.

I will explain to my kids (ages 9, 13 and 14) how lucky they are to be living in an intact family. They will understand this, for they know how hard it is for friends with single parents. I will explain to them that folks who wish to ban gay marriage also know and understand how family problems bedevil the nation.

I will explain to my kids that a full third of our national budget goes to fixing the ills of broken families, and that those who seek to improve marriage are mostly filled with worry, not hate. Still, I shall remind them that hatred is a sin.

I will also explain to my kids that some few who oppose the amendment will accuse those who wish to save traditional families of bigotry and ignorance. Some few will suppose this is a good argument, and that by labeling supporters as hayseeds they can win.

My kids will smile at this; after all, their name is Hicks and all were born in Appalachia. They know well those slurs don’t stick.

I will explain that there are far better arguments against the amendment than personal attacks, and among them is the likelihood that it will keep out some businesses we would otherwise wish to locate in Indiana.

I will also tell my kids that good government ought not be telling families how to organize themselves. Government has not that competence, and adults should be free to arrange their households as they wish.

Finally, I will admit that I am in deep water with theology, but a favorite children’s author of mine, that old soldier and professor Clive S. Lewis, said it best: “There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the state … the other governed by the church.”

So, let us all have this talk with our kids tonight, and ask the Legislature to focus on more pressing matters.•

__________

Hicks director the Center for Business and Economic Research and a professor of economics at Ball State University. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at cber@bsu.edu.

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  • History of Government Marriage
    Mike, why not first explain to them why government is in marriage in the first place? Or why we, as free people, are not allowed to enter into a contractual relationship with another consenting adult without the government's 'permission'. Marriage is a religious affair that the government took over to discriminate against mixed marriages. In a sense, it was the "State" overstepping its boundaries into the "Church". The right approach would be to remove the government from marriage altogether. It's none of their business and we should return to being 'free' to enter into a contract with whomever we would like as long as they are also a consenting adult.

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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

  2. When the Indiana GOP was going around the State selling the Voucher bill they were promising people that the vouchers would only be for public charter schools. They lied. As usual.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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