Jackalope according to Wikipedia:
"The legend of the jackalope has bred the rise of many outlandish (and largely tongue-in-cheek) claims as to the creature's habits. For example, it is said to be a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of "killer rabbit". Reportedly, jackalopes are extremely shy unless approached. Legend also has it that female jackalopes can be milked as they sleep belly up and that the milk can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes. It has also been said that the jackalope can convincingly imitate any sound, including the human voice. It uses this ability to elude pursuers, chiefly by using phrases such as "There he goes! That way!" It is said that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. The jackalope will drink its fill of whiskey and its intoxication will make it easier to hunt. In some parts of the United States it is said that jackalope meat has a taste similar to lobster. However, legend has it that they are dangerous if approached. It has also been said that jackalopes will only breed during electrical storms including hail, explaining its rarity."
The call to defend "traditional" marriage is similar to pranking your friends into hunting jackalope; jackalopes don't exist and neither does "traditional" marriage. Anyone who claims otherwise is either misinformed or out to deliberately mislead others. Where are people getting the idea of "traditional" marriage from? From religious leaders and others who seem to want to pass off their religious rite of marriage as civil marriage so they can confuse law makers and voters alike. In the confusion created they hope to continue to deny equality to GLBT people, and resist the call for introspection. Civil marriage is offered by our government to avoid unnecessary intrusions into religious ceremony.
We can all smile at the expense of others when promoting the jackalope because it is harmless fun. There is no fun or honor when denying people's rights based on deliberate misinformation especially when that misinformation perpetuates both discrimination and violence. Christians are not obliged by their religion to impose their values on others, that's an individual choice. Let's review some facts so that people can be more fully informed.
From the HRC we find the following:
"Isn't marriage only between a man and a woman?
No. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa; the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, Canada; and the nations of Belgium and the Netherlands have all ruled that marriage is not the exclusive right of opposite-sex couples. Furthermore, there is a significant difference between marriage – a licensing system set up and administered by the State that affords hundreds of important protections under law – and religious marriage.
This ruling has nothing to do with religion – it has to do with the legal rights and protections provided by the government to people in long-term, committed relationships. Government cannot and should not interfere with religion or impose one religion's beliefs on everybody else. Our federal constitution already protects the free exercise of religion. Churches do not have to perform ceremonies or recognize relationships for gay couples or anybody else."
In particular, the Court said:
"Simply put, the government creates civil marriage. In Massachusetts, civil marriage is, and since pre-Colonial days has been, precisely what its name implies: a wholly secular institution. … No religious ceremony has ever been required to validate a Massachusetts marriage."
In the colonies, weddings were not religious ceremonies. Rather, they were a civil contract that set the responsibilities and duties of husband and wife.
This part of our "tradition", how far back should we look?:
Despite romantic notions to the contrary, many of the colonial wives were bought brides. Between 1620 and 1622, over 150 "pure and spotless" white women were brought to Virginia and auctioned off to men for an average of 80 pounds of tobacco.
The motivation for denying GLBT equality in marriage is simple; fear has always been a great motivator to rally people with when profits start to sag and control seems to be fading. If Church's that teach against the acceptance of GLBT equality allow civil marriages to same sex couples to go uncontested their flocks will start to question the validity of their teachings in this instance. That questioning may lead to other questions and possibly the separation of the flock from it's perspective church. The almighty dollar, not God's will, seems to be the "tradition" that's being fought for.
There is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Faerie, jackalope, or "traditional" marriage. What we do have is the opportunity to live as we promised via the social contract we empower, our Constitution, or to stand behind what we know to be false in order to perpetuate our own comfort at the cost of others. The opponents of equality have failed in their responsibility to prove what they accuse, yet some people, even law makers, seem to believe. Perhaps there was an event in their lives, perhaps they hide their same sex attraction that causes them to oppose equality in this matter. It is the verifiable facts and only the facts that law makers should value, not personal opinions no matter how impassioned.
All walks of life who have a history of being discriminated against by our fellow citizens expect that discrimination to continue. It is the free will of others to speak their minds and to believe what they wish. In contrast to that freedom we should be able to expect our government to be above this, especially since we put that promise in writing before the country was born. Now that the GLBT citizens have found their voice there will be a need to address their oppression by the government. In all instances of law where a significant compelling social interest cannot be found that outweighs the promise of equality then action is expected to right those wrongs. Perhaps once the government shows an unbiased eye to GLBT people others will follow its example. It is a source of shame that our heritage as a nation includes discrimination. It is to our credit that we correct those wrongs once enough people come forward to advocate for justice.
I do believe the inherent goodness in all people will prevail in this instance as it has in similar instances throughout time. Eventually people will see the dangerous precedent set by throwing away due process and allowing innocent individuals to be treated as criminals where their personal actions do not alter the justice delivered to them. Until the will of the majority strikes down the last bastion of government sanctioned discrimination let the cry for "traditional" marriage help us identify who in our masses base their opinions on unfounded fears, and let us who know better hunt for jackalope no more.