Talk about gay marriage turns into a debateq

What started out as 6 o’clock talk about gay marriage, turned into a 7 o’clock debate, as panelists ignited a controversial discussion.

Vanessa Young, junior, attended the event, put on in celebration of Rainbow Dayz this week, for an extra credit opportunity, but was excited to learn more on the subject.

“I’m here to learn,” she said. “It’s interesting to hear about.”

The discussion, consisting of five panel members, began with Frank McKenna, professor of political science.

According to McKenna, his support of same-sex marriage is based on constitutional perspectives and humanitarian and societal cost benefits.

“I suppose, in general, I support the notion of gay marriage,” he said.

McKenna, who looks to The Golden Rule -“Treating others the way you want to be treated,” – for his stance on the issue, believes any form of demographic discrimination is wrong.

“You have to start with the question, ‘Is there a pattern of homosexual discrimination?'” he said.

McKenna believes there is definite evidence to suggest such discrimination.

“We, as a society, are wrestling with the concept of separate but equal,” he said.

Eric Crumrine, senior and president of VISION, added similar opinions to the discussion. Crumrine, who refers to gay marriage as “marriage equality,” presented the gains same-sex couples are striving for.

“The simple right to just get married,” he said. “It’s equality.”

With 1,400 legal differences between a civil union and marriage, marriage is a legal issue and not a religious one, Crumrine said.

“We live in a country where I have freedom of religion,” he said.

According to Crumrine, Canada, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and parts of Africa have legally recognized gay marriage.

Father Frank Dandurand, a Catholic priest at St. Thomas More University Parish, addressed the religious arguments against gay marriage.

“As Christians, in the scriptures, the notion of marriage is not a human construct,” Dandurand said. “God created marriage, therefore, God defines it.”

Although Dandurand believes there is a call for love that is universal in all of us, there is also a beauty in truth. Finding the truth means taking a Christian perspective, he said.

“Marital love is the kind of love that allows a man and woman to enter into a sexual relation,” Dandurand said.

Dan Lipian, senior and chair of College Republicans, aided Dandurand in his argument against gay marriage.

“Two homosexuals cannot create life and that’s why it’s not in the state’s interest,” Lipian said.

According to Lipian, countries that have allowed homosexual marriages have generated negative statistics. The U.S.’s current system works, and any other system has failed, he said.

The only restrictions of marriage that benefit homosexuals are costly to the state, he said.

“State recognition of marriages is not a universal right,” Lipian said.

Dandurand believes homosexual marriage will redefine American society.

“The whole notion of family would be dramatically changed,” he said.

Although many students attended the event, the discussion sparked quite a debate. After a heated question and answer session, some students left with new perspectives on the subject.

“They didn’t teach me anything different,” said sophomore Danna Isaacs.

According to Isaacs, she did enjoy the differing religious and constitutional perspectives though.

“It was interesting to see the different positions of each of the people,” she said. “But I feel as though the questioning at the end got a little out of hand.”