Gay Marriage. This is an issue that gets those on both the left and right extremely charged up. There are two views which are put forth, depending on whether you're watching Fox or MSNBC.
1) This falls under that category of "unalienable rights" as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and defined in The Constitution and
2) Gays are currently not offered the same protections & benefits that others receive.
Conservative claims seem a bit less clear but the recurring themes seem to be:
1) That it would threaten the sanctity of traditional marriage.
2) It would allow gays more rights toward children (such as adoption) and
3) That it is an abomination to God.
So what is the moderates view of these arguments? Let's take the arguments one at a time:
"Unalienable right": Unless you're talking with a moderate who is gay, we've never really thought about marriage as a right that needed defending. We simply take for granted that we can marry whomever we please. So what would be our view if gays could enjoy that same right? The same as we held when it used to be illegal for blacks and whites to marry. We simply don't care. Why would we care about someone getting married? But we do care that a minority seems to believe that a function of government, is to regulate such things. That's Big Government invading our homes. No thanks.
"Protection & Benefits": The moderate view on this would remain the same. Who cares if a couple can get health insurance under the family plan, instead of as two individuals. It's not our business. But again, we don't see regulating as a function of government. We would say, let insurance companies etc... cover however they like. If a company will only cover traditional unions under a family plan, another one will gain business by offering it to same-sex couples. Let the market decide, not a small segment of the population or Big Government.
The Other Side
"It would threaten the sanctity of marriage": Moderates find it ironic that the demographic with the highest divorce rate in the country (traditional Christians, with Baptists topping the list), talk about protecting the sanctity of marriage. Divorce used to be the biggest threat to the sanctity of marriage. Now most of the people protecting that sanctity are divorced. Additionally, Christians have the dubious honor of having the highest number of unwed, teen pregnancies (can you say Bristol?). So the group that has the highest level of unprotected promiscuity, points their fingers at a group that wants to avow fidelity. Hmmm. I don't see sanctity as much as sanctimony. There is one other position which occasionally pops up about how gay marriage would cause heterosexual people to become "converted" but to a moderate, that's so absurd as to not even be worth addressing. In any case, defining the legality of something so personal is Big Government invading our personal lives. So we're not for it.
"It would allow more rights toward children": Apparently, children would be better of left on the streets or in orphanages, than in a suburban home of a gay couple. Should gays be allowed to adopt? The moderate view is that, if there is evidence of a threat to a child, remove them from the environment. Foster care children are often molested and abused by hetero-sexuals. And fair or not, there is no doubt that gay couples would be under more scrutiny that straight couples. Better to have children permanently adopted, than left in a system that is so damaging.
"It is an abomination to God". Conservatives want us to know just exactly how much two women getting married, would upset God. I happen to be a Christian but the moderate view in general is that it is not a function of government to tell us what does or does not make God happy. This is big government imposing specific religious beliefs on a nation which was founded on freedom of religion.
The moderate view: Simple. Allow gay marriage.