Thursday, November 20, 2008

Define “Marriage”

[Politics warning]

Whenever I teach, I have two basic rules. The first is that there is no getting the trainer sick – which is very important this time of year. The second is that there is no discussing religion, sex or politics. I’m glad I’m not teaching, as I’m going to violate every part of my second rule today.

It’s been just over two weeks since California Proposition 8 passed, a ballot measure which rescinded a legal right for all couples to marry. And I still can’t get over my shock. I’m really just left with one question for everyone who voted for this travesty: Why?

Actually, I take that back. I have many more questions:

  • What impact does a gay couple getting married have on your marriage?
  • What’s different about two loving adults getting married who happen to be the same gender?
  • How is this different than a law preventing two people of different ethnicities from getting married?
  • How would you react if suddenly the state said to you, “Sorry, we don’t acknowledge your love, your willingness to stand before God and your loved ones to commit to your partner for life”?

I’ve heard many horrible arguments in favor of Prop 8. There are three that really stand out to me: “Protecting Kids”. “It’s Against God’s Will”. “Other Nations Have Had Problems After Allowing Gay Marriage”.

Protecting Kids

The ads leading up to November 4th were particularly disgusting. Because the proponents of this ballot measure realized they couldn’t come right out and ask people to vote against a legal right granted to everyone, they played to the most disgusting of tactics – going after children. The ads implied that if Proposition 8 failed to pass that gay marriage would have to be taught to children. As if teaching children that two adults can love each other and get married was such terrible thing.

It’s Against God’s Will

Let me be very clear on something. I support fully any church who doesn’t want to perform gay marriage, just as I support any church who wants to limit who can become ordained. (And really, I can’t imagine someone attending a church who wouldn’t allow them to marry anyway.) To plagiarize a good friend of mine (thanks Bill C.), if we’re going to claim that marriage is a religious institution, then let’s leave it as a religious institution. You can marry in a church, but you don’t get any secular rights.

Other Nations Have Had Problems After Allowing Gay Marriage

If I cared enough, I’d have done further research on this pastor’s statement on Fox News the other day. He claimed that some Scandinavian country who legalized gay marriage saw a decrease in children born in wedlock. He went on to imply that there’s a large underground of closeted gay people who are simply waiting for gay marriage to be legalized to come out. I don’t grok the latter, and as for the former I wonder why certain people would be willing act on stats of another nation on this issue, but ignore stats of a foreign nation in regards to gun control.

Now I must make very clear that I am anti-gay rights. I’m anti-straight rights, white-rights, Asian-rights and any other specific rights for a particular group of people. I’m 100% for equal rights. Rights are not granted because of a particular persuasion, ethnicity or gender. Rights are granted simply because you are an American citizen; the rest is irrelevant. I quote Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That’s it. Equal protection. Nothing specific to one group of people. Just the same rights for every American. Not civil unions. Not domestic partnerships. Marriage. Marriage for all. You get what I get. No more, no less. Or as the Massachusetts court put it best:

The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal.

Now I ask you – find me the American who’s against another American having the same rights as him or her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with your analysis more--thanks for writing your post! Jackie