As I cast my vote against the ban...

There are plenty of good religious arguments supporting bans on gay marriage, but they fall on deaf ears to those who are not of certain religious sentiments. The same goes for bans on civil unions that might enable homosexuals to obtain the legal equivalent of marriage, and the benefits as such, but under a different more neutral name.

From my standpoint, however, I am perfectly fine with both gay marriage and civil unions, since for me the religious arguments are not convincing. After all, my philosophy of life, for better or worse is not informed by religion whatsoever. If it was I might have a very different perspective.

At the same time there are additional reasons why I am a supporter of civil unions. In short they are a very useful method to extend legal privileges to non-heterosexual couples that better ensure the individual's ability to discover their philosophical preferences and act upon them within a homosexual relationship and/or as a homosexual foster parent.

All this is not to say that I don't see where the more radical points of view, points of view that I disagree with, on both sides of the debate are coming from. There are definitely well intentioned arguments for a federal amendment legalizing gay marriage and equalizing civil unions just as there are well intentioned religious arguments for banning gay marriage through the same means (note for me the religious arguments are ones informed by religion, and religion only, not pseudo-sociology, psycology, and anthropology studies that proclaim emancipated gays make bad parents, will cause incest and bestiality, and are more likely to molest kids).

Where I must strongly criticize the radicals in this debate is in their partisanship... While politicians and advocacy groups in DC, Madison, and across the country spend great time and energy (at a great opportunity cost) pushing no and yes stances for gay marriage and civil union bans year after year, much like Abortion, this "social values issue" easily distracts the political discourse from finding solutions to the very issues that allow us the opportunity to passionately discuss such "social values" at all i.e. economics, foreign policy, national security, fiscal policy, civil liberties, etc.

While I applaud standing up for what myself and others may see as a sensible policy (allowing gay marriage and civil unions) do not let issues like this make you lose site of what in the big picture matters most, unless you want to become yet another reason why the American political discourse has become so repetitive and futile at solving for issues that allow us the luxury of focusing on partisan social issues in the first place.

…And as I cast my vote against the ban this November I will keep this reservation in mind...