Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Defense of Marriage

Queer, Part 2

Should members of the same sex be allowed to marry?

Let's examine that question. Exactly who is doing the allowing? Who decides this for all of us? What a weighty decision that's on your shoulders, a lofty post on which you've decided to stand, when you make it your decision to make.

It's amusing to me when I hear questions such as "are we not opening the door for incestuous marriage and beastiality?" Those questions are at once laughable and hateful. This is all I'm going to say on that subject.

Why don't we begin with the word "marriage." What does it mean to you? Who gave you that meaning? Did it come from your church? In many cases it did, since marriage is largely a religious institution, at least in its origins. So shouldn't it be between you and your church whether you are allowed to wed in the eyes of your religion or denomination therein?

Then of course there's the argument that the government should not step in and decide for the church and the individual states - and everyone for that matter, that homosexuals be allowed to marry. I find it ironic that these same people appear to deem it okay for the government to tell us all, to tell every church what they're NOT allowed to do. The latter seems far more intrusive. Are these not the same conservatives who believe government should remain out of our personal lives?

For the sake of argument let's say this is a religious contradiction to you, the allowance of two men or two women to get married. Let's say that for some outlandish and far-flung reason this somehow threatens your marriage, or the institution as a whole. I'll pretend for a moment that this is a remotely logical argument. Okay, so what if we don't call it marriage? I for one, don't care what you call it so long as I may enjoy the same rights, and am not denied thus because of who I am, or because you have decreed who I am to be unacceptable in your world. So let's not use the word marriage. Let's call it a civil union.

And people still protest these unions, they still believe that it is their moral obligation to keep these rights from those who are not like them.

How does it threaten anyone? How has it become such a black or white argument? Do you believe more gay marriages will fail? I would argue that years from now the percentage of gay marriages that have worked where they are legal, will be similar to those of heterosexuals. A marriage is a marriage - the same rules apply. Are you still under the impression that this is some lifestyle choice? See my previous post on that one.

So why? Why is it so important for some to deny others the rights they enjoy? This is a civil rights issue as much as it is a religious one. As far as the law is concerned, religion should not be a factor. That in itself is unconstitutional. The factor that remains, large and looming, is fear.

All I can say to this, is get over it. I realize that social change takes time, that it's a lengthy, sometimes (needlessly) painful process. I'm just having a hard time remaining patient with that process, waiting and watching quietly while the debate goes on as to whether or not my basic human rights are valid. The hurtful undertone to these debates is that until the majority can be convinced that I am not a threat to the institution of marriage by my very existence and desire to marry, my rights will rest in the hands of the vocal minority.

And once I'm "allowed" to marry in my state? I want children. More on this to follow.


Anonymous said...

Very good post, I completely agree. In Florida you can not adopt if you are gay. I am friends with a lesbian couple and they have two daughters. The daughters have the same donor "father" but each of the women is biological mother to one of the daughters (make sense?). Because of state law they are not allowed to adopt each others' girls, so if something should ever happen to one of them, there would be a chance a child would lose a mother and a sister...

I don't know if you read enough of my blog to find my post on this topic, if not click on March 1st of the calendar and you'll find it.

Darkwulfe said...

Excellent post! It is important to make the connection that the religious institution is using the system to control a civil matter. The simple fact the religious right fails to understand and recognize is that once you use the system to limit the rights of others, it is only a matter of time before it comes back around to haunt you.

The point is well made that these same people are the ones that want to complain about the government interferring in their life because they fear the government wants to choose who their doctor is...a trivial matter compared to denying the right for marriage to an entire portion of the population.

The sheer hypocrisy is astounding. It is bigotry, simply put, and it is a shame and an embarassment that it has been tolerated this long.

Doc said...

I have thought often that decades from now we as a society will okk abck on this issue in much the same way that we now look back and almost laugh at how backwards we "were" when we as a society didn't allow black and white people to marry.
One other point on this is that the only reason the government got invoved in marraige in the first place was to charge for a license. you would think in tough economic times common sense (and fees) would rule out. Buts thats what I get for thinking.

Aunt Becky said...

What I think is most interesting is that because it's so hard for gay people to marry, I'd be willing to bet that they're more committed than straight. And bring the shitstorm onto my head. GO AHEAD. (not you, Will, I know you love me baby. Or, you better. Because I love you).

Will Shealy said...

I love you too B! I think we were married in another life, you know, one in which I was into that sorta thing.

Suzy said...

What drives me crazy is this - what does it matter to you (the bigoted bystander shouting about how wrong gay marriage is) what does it matter to YOU if gay marriage is allowed? It does not mean that you yourself must have a gay marriage.
It does not make YOUR marriage any less.

What is really threatening the sanctity of marriage is the divorce rate. The quickie vegas wedding between strangers. The third, fourth, twentieth marriage of one person. The marriage that lasts 3 months.

I don't think that people should be allowed to smoke, but its legal.
How is that any different to them not wanting us to marry. Sometimes in life there are things you dont agree with. GET OVER IT.

I hope that in twenty years we will have come so far that people look back and say "wow, how strange. Gay people really weren't allowed to marry! Can you imagine? How crazy"

Jay said...

I agree that this isn't really a religious issue. It's a human rights issue. It's about making sure that gays have the same rights and privileges that straight people do. Who would be opposed to everyone being treated equally under the law??

Mrs Soup said...

Even taking it away from the religious argument, the fact that there are so many rights that are given to married couples by the state and federal government. Tax benefits, health, hospital, burial rights, etc. Many of them not replicated.

Completely ignoring the religious arguments, they need to be offered to everyone or no one. The end.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I've been wanting to respond to this post,but had to think it through a bit. Here's the deal: I think what most people object to is the word "marriage", and amending the constitution. They see gay "marriage" as a slippery slope to people wanting rights to marry a goat or a pizza. I say, call it a "union" (with all the regular marriage benefits) and word it as a legal union between TWO consenting HUMAN BEINGS. That way, polygamist can't try to horn in on it, neither can the guy who wants to marry his goat or a pizza.

Win/win! I think we'll see it in our lifetimes. :-)