Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marriage Equality, or: I can't believe I have to resurrect this post yet again with only minor tweaks.

How does having more people in love weaken the power of love?

How would creating more marriage make marriage less meaningful?

I am sorry to be behaving with the innocence of a child and the logic of a sane adult, but I just don't get it.

There is a new battle going on here in Minnesota in which a few radicals (Let's call a spade a spade: these people are radical, not conservative) want to put in place a constitutional ban on "gay marriage" that would also include banning "any legal recognition of domestic partnerships and civil unions or any 'legal equivalent' of marriage." (By the way, the only way to get all the legal benefits of marriage is by getting married. There is no “legal equivalent”.) Which means that the few benefits that do exist here for same-sex partnerships would go away right along with the hope of anything more.

That's sweet.

I bet Jesus is smiling right now.

The thing is, this time, they have the votes to do it.

They say they want to "protect traditional marriage." What does that mean? Don't these people have anything else to worry about? Apparently if Rick and Tom get married, or Susie and Michelle, these different-sex marriages will somehow be less meaningful, begging the question, how meaningful can they possibly be now?

Before I pitch an apoplectic fit and pass out from emotional confusion on my heterosexual living room floor within the context of my heterosexual-legally-recognized-by-the-state-relationship, I'd like to know what makes me so special? Show me a constitutional reason why my relationship gets to be different from anyone else's? I mean, I think it's a pretty good relationship—really good, not to toot my own horn or my husband's (that's against the law in some states, too), but because he has a penis, and I don't, that means we can legally be married? That's not really much of an achievement (sorry, hubby. No offense).

It just seems like such a waste of righteous anger. You're a dude, and you don't want to marry a dude? DON'T. This is America. You don't have to. You're a Christian, and you think being gay is wrong? Fine! You’re (probably) not! See: Declaration of Independence/Inalienable rights/"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Last time I checked, we are not living in a theocracy, and we are actually fighting wars overseas so that other people don't get to, either. We don't have a state religion or even a state language, for that matter. We have an official bird (that we almost poisoned into extinction) but our government does not tell people how to worship, and marriage equality won’t change that. Christians can yammer on all they want about "My Bible this..." and "My Bible that..." but…


My favorite book is Wuthering Heights, but that does not mean that I get to make other people dig up and hug their dead lovers or force children to marry each other and live in seclusion on the wasted moors of northern England. Just because some people believe that the Bible is a divine text does not make it so. Just because some people believe that their translation of that "divine text" says that marriage is between one man and one woman, does not create a basis for a Law in the United States of America.

Many of our ancestors came here to get away from that sort of oppression.

It's important to try to stop these people before we slide completely into a theocratic corporate oligarchy, and I used to think this was just a smokescreen issue. Like abortion. But now that they have the numbers, they are pushing the social end of their agenda, to the benefit of whom? A constitutional amendment against marriage equality will help no one and hurt many.

I am not gay. I am not going to turn gay if I watch Ellen or spend too much time with drag queens or see too much LogoTV. I don't think I am going to want to marry a woman any time soon (Bigamy is not legal, either. Nor will marriage equality make it legal.) On a very base and selfish level, this issue does not affect me. But I don't live that way. Any attempt to diminish my fellow Americans diminishes me and diminishes this country.

Denying basic rights to other Americans makes me less of an American.

And less of a human.

What happens to others matters to me.

I live in a country that used to encourage self-reliance as a tool for being able to help others, but it seems that self-reliance has turned to selfishness.

It does not matter to these people what actually happens to their fellow citizens as long as those citizens are living by a specific, enforced, neo-fundamentalist religious code. Living in squalor with an abusive boyfriend and a new baby when you are 17? At least you did not have an abortion! We saved you from hell! Are you in the hospital, dying of a terminal illness and want to leave your estate to your same-sex partner? Too bad! You don't deserve to because your “choices” are evil and you are going to hell!

This is a waste of time and resources. I am thinking that straight marriage doesn't need any protection, though with divorced people making up 10.7 percent of the population over 15, it might need some counseling.
Why can't our elected officials redirect their energies into, oh, I don't know, working against economic inequality, “creating jobs”, or protecting the environment so our children can be safer (Think about the Children!)? Probably because that wouldn't get as much press. Real, difficult problems don't make headlines, and it's hard to work yourself up into a good, frothy, fear-filled lather over a homeless veteran.

After all, apparently Jesus is only happy when people are hurting because they brought it on themselves.

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