So the election is over and it appears that No on 1 has lost this battle. I am, of course, angry about this - angry that some people still think it's okay to put other people's rights up to a vote, angry that they find such glee in purposefully and maliciously hurting other people's families - but it's not a hot, weepy, tearful anger. No, this anger is cold and calculating and resolved that this war is far from over.
What this campaign has really done is to gel and confirm my belief that it's time to use their playbook against them. Bishop Malone has at least intimated that he's not opposed to civil unions, per se, and that his big problem was using the word "marriage", which he sees as a religious sacrament, for same-sex couples. Fine, then. If the word is his hangup (It isn't, really, but he needs to be hoisted on his own petard), then I say we let the word "marriage" be the exclusive province of the churches.
I was married in a church by a minister, and that makes my union a marriage, as far as I'm concerned. If what it takes for my relationship to be legally recognized is for the state to call it a "civil union", then so be it. The only way for that solution to be fair and equitable, though, is for the state to stop using the word "marriage" altogether and apply the term "civil union" across the board.
I propose a campaign that we call "Preserve Religious Marriage". We talk a lot about God and allowing churches to exercise their traditional values unencumbered by the state and throw in a lot of talk about "no special rights". In short, we completely co-opt their language, then change all the language in state law to use the term "civil unions", which are the same as marriages under current laws in everything but name and their availability to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. It is completely constitutional and it basically renders all the arguments they used in this campaign moot.
"Marriage" won't be taught in schools at all because it's a religious institution. We don't talk about the fact that there are some churches which are perfectly comfortable calling a union between same-sex couples a marriage. Maybe we don't even show any same-sex couples in any ads at all. Basically, we use their language and their imagery to defuse their message and completely fuck with the minds of their supporters.
It is, admittedly, a cynical approach, but at the moment I simply don't care. What they did in this campaign was completely cynical and mean-spirited and hateful, and they deserve to have that turned back on them.